Why I Love the Irish

plastic bag As reported in the New York Times, Ireland has virtually eliminated the hated plastic grocery bag by imposing a 33¢ tax on each one. The law prohibits grocers from absorbing the cost. Faster than anyone could have predicted people switched to the reusable totes. If you are looking for a way to feel smug about your carbon footprint without sacrificing a damn thing, this is it. Just keep a couple of totes in the back of your car and get in the habit.

To understand the havoc plastics are wreaking on the environment read Alan Weisman’s article Polymers are Forever from Orion magazine (reprinted in his excellent book The World Without Us). His description of the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre (a.k.a. Great Pacific Garbage Patch) will freak you out. And you will never look at beach sand the same way again.

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