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Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Anchorage Bans Plastic Bags

It’s been a process, let’s just say, as these things normally are. Should we ban those hideous one-use plastic grocery bags that end up clogging storm drains, wreaking havoc with water treatment facilities, getting stuck in trees and bushes, blowing across the road, and ending up in waterways and the ocean where they break down into the dreaded “microplastic” particles that get into the fish, and eventually us? Or should we just ban the really thin ones but not the medium ones or the thick ones? Or should we ban the thin, AND the medium? And on the public testimony went, and on the meetings went.

Last night at the Assembly meeting, the 11 men and women who make the decisions voted 6-5 to ban them altogether, and charge 10 cents for paper bags (with a cap at 50 cents) to encourage people to use reusable cloth bags.  And while most people are happy with the decision, there were still five Assembly members who disagreed. One, John Weddleton, who owns a retail store that uses plastic bags and made a half-hearted attempt to recuse himself but didn’t, wanted the thicker ones. And never to disappoint, the two representatives from Eagle River, Fred Dyson and Amy Demboski (who lamented at the prior meeting that she was “stuck in a liberal Hell” because the gubmint was trying to tell people how to shop), were the two who wanted no restrictions whatsoever. Now mind you, the gentleman and gentlewoman from Eagle River are perfectly happy to have said gubmint pay for remediating all the clogs, jams, and down time at the water treatment center caused by these two-handled menaces. But, you know… FreedomLiberty = PLASTIC.

When you see a plastic shopping bag soaring overhead, it’s basically like a bald eagle reminding you of your freedom.


I might say that this is another in a long list of reasons I secretly wish Eagle River would just secede, join up with Wasilla, and be done with it, but in this case Wasilla too has pretty much banned them, so Demboski and Dyson will just have to pout in the corner and dab their eyes with a plastic bag while the rest of the state evolves. They can start hoarding now because the ban does not go into effect until March.

As you may imagine, the sensible adult population of Anchorage is pleased, and moves on with their lives. Something good has been done for our local environment, and the wider one. And this, naturally, has conservatives all in a twist.

As of this writing, the story on the Anchorage Daily News’ Facebook page has 1300 likes, 264 loves, 98 wows, 37 angries, 18 hahas, and 4 sads.

As usual, the angry minority is well represented in the comments, and the whining is deafening. Here are a few gems:

1) It’s a racket to take our money


2) Suddenly I care about the environment, and perceived hypocrisy


3) Screw them damn politicans


4) The government is controlling our lives


5) Nanny state liberals making my life hard

And so, the bag whiners are dragged, kicking and screaming into a 21st Century that recognizes we need to be responsible grown-ups. For a group that constantly complains about “snowflakes” you’d think these supposedly-hardy Alaskan souls would rise to the challenge and be inspired instead of weeping and snuffling because they’ve suffered a minor inconvenience.

[Assemblyman Christopher] Constant spearheaded the push for the stricter ban. At the Tuesday night meeting, Constant held up a woven bag stuffed with more than a dozen thin plastic shopping bags he’d picked up around Anchorage since last week. He said the city needed to simply “ban the bag.”

“‘The waste stream is voluminous and we have an opportunity to break the cycle,’ Constant said.”

Commie bastard.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find some reusable shopping bags.



4 Responses to “Anchorage Bans Plastic Bags”
  1. mike from iowa says:

    Good to see the name Jeanne Devon in print once again. Been wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too long for these tired eyeballs. 🙂

  2. Zyxomma says:

    We’re TRYING to get them banned in NYC, so far unsuccessfully. I’ve been shopping with cloth bags for decades, and I have some made-out-of-soda-bottles-and-fold-into-an-internal-pocket bags as well. I keep one in my handbag in case I make an unplanned purchase, and keep one in my canvas shopping bag in case I buy more than it can hold. Thank you, Anchorage.

  3. Some call plastic grocery bags the Texas State Flower. You see them on barbed-wire fences – Texas is mostly barbed wire fences – flapping in the wind. Over nearly a month of intensive birding all over rural Texas, we never once saw barbed wire fence that was festooned with the Texas State Flower.

  4. akbright says:

    I read the reasoning from John Weddleton, not sure about his argument. But did Eric Croft vote against it, too?

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