Tempe Safety or Plastic Bags

There are dozens of issues citizens hold their government officials accountable for.  On the local level we expect safe neighborhoods, a quick response from first responders, successful schools, properly maintained streets, clean water, and regular garbage pickup.  These are tall tasks, but they are what is expected when electing city council members.

In Tempe, we are concerned with all the above.  Instead of focusing on these issues, Councilwoman Lauren Kuby is worried about the use of plastic bags.  She would like them banned in the city.  In other words, Fry’s, Target, and even your local Ace Hardware would not be allowed to distribute them at check out.  It’s a nice idea, but as usual, elected officials from academia are full of theories instead of common sense.

Ms. Kuby has a plum position in Arizona State’s School of Sustainability.  Are her efforts to ban plastic bags a conflict of interest?  Should she be forcing Tempe and other Arizona businesses to comply with laws which will benefit her employer while burdening local Tempe businesses?

Councilwoman Kuby, usually a supporter of large federally-run programs like DACA and Obamacare, champions local control of businesses when she wants to push a new Council ordinance.  Which way does she want it?

Some stores like Trader Joe’s do not offer plastic bags.  Good for them for having a mission and following through with it.  But that is Trader Joe’s option, just as it it Target’s option to provide only plastic bags.

Like them or not, plastic bags are popular.  And as one resident reminded us, they use fewer trees.  The government mandating that a local business can only use a certain type of bag parallels the government mandating what kind of wedding cakes a bakery should bake.


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