Plastic shopping bags are like New Yorkers themselves: cheap, practical and well-nigh indestructible. And unfortunately, like New Yorkers themselves, there’s a lot of them. In fact, every year more than a trillion plastic bags are used worldwide; the vast majority that aren’t earnestly waiting to be reused in a bucket under the kitchen sink end up clogging our sewers, burdening our landfills, spoiling our parks and choking our wildlife.
And just think how much we would rock if we banned them. China, which outlawed plastic in 2008, says the move has saved them some 4.8 million metric tons, or approximately 35 million barrels, of oil. This month both the Indian capital of Delhi and San Francisco are taking steps to do the same, and Seattle has had a ban in place since July. It’s a worthy trend that New York can’t afford to miss out on. Come on, Mayor Mike. Seattle is beating us. Seattle.