Plastic bag bans are popping up around the globe. The bans do not affect purchased bags like garbage and yard bags, but they instead ban the free plastic bags given out when one makes a purchase at a grocery or other retail store. In the United States, cities like Los Angeles and Seattle have complete bans. In May 2012 Hawaii was the first state to ban the bags outright. Other cities around the world from Mexico to Australia are enacting anti-bag laws. Bangladesh has banned them since 2002 when they found out bags were clogging drain systems and contributing to flooding.
Some places do not ban the bags but instead place a tax or fee on them. In Washington D.C., the $0.05 fee per plastic or paper bag resulted in a change from 22 million bags dispensed a month to 3 million. This reduced the build-up of bags in the Anacostia River by fifty percent.
One of the main reasons to ban plastic bags is because animals, particularly birds and sea life, get stuck in them and they asphyxiate. However, some people desire the bags for this purpose. Erik Faust, President of the Minneapolis Local Auto-Eroticers Union 56 thinks this is unfair. “Just because the critters don’t know a safe word means we all can’t play? Doing this now is like cutting off our air supply. This is just so disrespectful to the memory of our hero, David Carradine, and the thousand people who die every year in the pursuit of our hobby. I mean, doing this now is just too soon.”
Another reason for the ban is the environmental impact of the bags. From processing to not being biodegradable for an estimated five hundred years, bags are a strain on the environment. Auto-erotic asphyxiation aficionados don’t even like emerging technologies that biodegrade and photodegrade bags faster. “That just makes them weak, and NOTHING is worse than your bag popping before you do,” said Chris Crinkle, President of the beloved St. Paul Ass-Fixers. The Ass-Fixers have won twelve straight bowling titles, but with full disclosure they all use reusable bowling bags.
They aren’t the only ones with their baggies in a twist. Bag ladies all over the world are scrambling to find substitutes. “It’s not easy finding replacement bags,” says a woman who didn’t know her name but answers to bird calls, “There is a lot of competition for yard bags, and most of us have had to switch to hauling around cardboard boxes. This has resulted in a housing shortage.” She also pointed out that it is more difficult to use paper or reusable bags for portable bathrooms, “Without all the handy plastic bags floating around the streets, we may need to resort more often to flower pots and open car windows.”
Another homeless man, Dr. Renald Howser II, thought the ban was a conspiracy. “It’s a plot against us! More bags! LESS FILLING! It’s Obama’s fault! KILL BLUEY! They found me, run!” He was last seen jumping a shrubbery and could not be located for further elaboration.
Other cities have tried to enact legislation to reduce or eliminate plastic bags. However the general lack of intelligence of politicians has led to misunderstandings. Tea Party candidate Rex Boolings was against the measure in Arizona because he thought “banning plastic bags” meant banning breast implants, of which he admits enjoying. When corrected, he felt he still would have sided with his Libertarian buddies anyway- taking away choices is only allowed if the law only restrictswomen’s rights. This law still almost passed however, because they all believed only women shopped. When this error was discovered, enough politicians changed sides to keep plastic bags legal, for now.