Bans on Bad Things.
Perhaps you’re already aware of this, but a few weeks ago the City Council of San Carlos voted 4-1 to adopt a ban on carry-out plastic bags, citing environmental concerns. The ban will take effect on July 1 of this year. Bonnie Eslinger of the Daily News did a great job covering the details of the council meeting and the subsequent vote, so I won’t rehash them in this post. You can check out her article here.
Whether or not you believe that those evil plastic bags are indeed the scourge of the earth is probably a personal opinion, but I understand the Council’s intention of at least trying to do right by the environment. After all, there’s no arguing that these bags take about a trillion years to break down in our landfill — the only two things that take longer to decompose are McDonald’s Cheeseburgers, and….
Hmmm… OK, now that the 800 pound gorilla has been let out of his cage, let’s at least acknowledge his presence. As I walk around downtown San Carlos, I see way more crushed cigarette butts on the sidewalks and in the gutter than I do those aforementioned evil plastic bags. Maybe because the bags have the gift of flight is the reason we don’t see more? But if we’re on the topic of monitoring what goes down our storm drains to the pristine waters of the San Francisco Bay (ahem), one would think that there are far more butts than bags in the bay right now.
Banning smoking downtown is probably not the answer. I don’t smoke, but that doesn’t mean others shouldn’t have the right to do what they want to their bodies. We live in a free country. That’s not the point.
But as I drove down Laurel Street yesterday and watched the driver in front of me fire a lit cigarette out the window, it dawned on me that I’d just like to see a more concerted effort by our smoking population, and perhaps the city, to find a way to fix a problem that we’ve ignored for too long.
Especially if we’re truly concerned about cleaning things up in City of Good Living. Just a thought…
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