we may be headed that way
Dwaine Caraway encourages y insanity ou to read his favorite local daily newspaper and to be sure to dispose of it properly when you done (Brad Loper/Staff Photographer)
In some coincidental timing, Rasmussen Reports, the polling outfit, released one today that shows Americans not especially fired up about bans on plastic grocery bags: 45 percent oppose such a ban in their state, 36 percent favor one and 19 percent forgot the question, er, were undecided.
The timing works out perfectly for your local editorial board, which in Sunday newspaper will reveal its latest position on a plastic bag ban in Dallas (update: online now).
My personal view is that this is a silly time waster of an argument. Such a ban, even as it animates our extra enlightened brethren in Austin and various West Coast haunts, pointlessly increases costs and inconveniences customers to little, if any, gain.
How can I know this? I have as clear a handle on the nature of litter in Dallas as City Council member Dwaine Caraway or city staff. In other words, all of us are guessing in the most anecdotal way.
Test: Is plastic bag litter a visual eyesore in your part of Dallas? North Oak Cliff? Uptown? Downtown? East Dallas? Preston Hollow? Pleasant Grove? Or, if you live somewhere else, like under the urban problem blocking force field of the suburbs, do plastic bags foul your view of trees, grassy medians or the Old Navy down the block?
The answer, anecdotally, depends far more on geography. In some parts of Dallas, yes, plastic bags are a problem; in others, not really. (Along the roads I drive most often in Flower Mound and even Lewisville, not at all.)
In all of those places, today, plastic bags are given out at grocery stores and convenience stores, unless you just want to juggle your beer, soda, Copenhagen, motor oil and pork chops to the truck, where you can dump them loosely in the back seat.
But if plastic bags are universally available, why are they a litter problem onl insanity y in certain parts of town?
Neither of our two previous editorials about Caraway push to have such a ban enacted citywide took his side, entirely. In early July, we said city staff needed to answer man insanity y questions before taking such a step. In August, we said we appreciated the answers so far but thought it wiser for the city to undertake a one year litter study to really understand whether a ban on bags would make a dent.
Apparently, with City Council action expected this month (or soon ish), we couldn wait. So it goes. Bad ideas are seldom fresh and new. Sometimes they just recycled.
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The Dallas Morning News Editorial Board was the first editorial board in the nation to use a blog to openly discuss hot topics and issues among its members and with readers. Our intent is to pull back the curtain on the daily process of producing the unsigned editorials that reflect the opinion of the newspaper, and to share analysis and opinion on issues of interest to board members and invite insanity d guest bloggers.
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