Since January this year the plastic bag is banned in the shops and supermarkets, here in Italy.The bio-degradable bags are not going to be banned and in reality it will not be a total ban of plastic bags before 2013. The 2 year transition period is to finish the plastic bag stocks, so in the stores nothing has changed and neither the streetscape. When I heard this news for the first time in December I thought somebody made fun of me. Italy and the plastic bag, it’s almost tradition. On forums people were arguing what to use instead, paper like in America but they didn’t think it was strong enough for the large amount of groceries people tend to drag on the street or on their scooter. A bag made out of fabric worried also a lot of people, they were convinced they would look stupid because it wouldn’t be a designer model. Amazing what people can bring to the table to justify the fact that they are polluting on a daily base. The plastic bags we use now are neither designed according to Italian designer principles and don’t go well together with a Gucci outfit. Yet everybody is using them and you can find them everywhere used for multiple purposes.
These plastic bags were already for many years an eyesore for many environmental activists. Expedition Med (Mediterranean in Danger) did research on the surface of the Mediterranean Sea. They found that all the thrown away plastic has fallen apart into microscopical pieces of plastic and that about 500 tons of plastics are floating around on the surface of the Mediterranean See. Even with a ban on plastic bags the damage is already done onto the marine. Expedition Med only tested the surface so who knows what’s lying on the bottom of the sea. There has been estimated that about 80% of all waste in the oceans is plastic, a sad example is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch that’s floating around between Japan and Hawaii.
The fines that will be charged after 2013, if we get there with this law, will be between €25 and €250. That’s the same fine for smoking in a public space. In a way it’s hilarious that we need laws to make responsible citizens out of us. We are not able to think about the consequences of our actions when it comes to for instance environmental issues such as, what is plastic causing within nature. It takes years for plastic to decay and the decomposing of the plastic into planet earth isn’t the outcome we want at all. I also have been struggling with this issue, when I went with my own grocery bag to the shop they did put my groceries in plastic bags into my own bag. So I asked them to put it directly into my bag. It was really a struggle as if I had to break the tradition of years and as if I was asking for hot ice cream or burning water. For a while I took the plastic bags and reused them for all kinds of purposes, but it was still the same plastic bag that ended up in the garbage eventually. When I hadn’t got the plastic bags I bought bio-degradable bin bags and those are a lot more expensive and I do not know how degradable they really are. Now I’m back at bringing my own bags and I buy normal bin bags to keep the costs reasonable.
What is this all about? It’s about throwing away plastic bags into nature and not understanding that the consequences of this action is turning against you and me and nature. It makes me a bit desperate, the fact that we not even can come up with a solution that’s best for all, when it only is about plastic bags. I’m not talking about changing a monetary, educational, health or political system, I’m talking about a “minor problem” that every toddler can resolve within common sense. But look what a interconnection of problems it is causing. This law is delayed until 2013 because otherwise the plastic bags in stock have no use what so ever, the workers in the plastic bag factory would been unemployed right away and the factory would stop existing unless they are able to produce something else. It’s a good thing to say stop to plastic bags, but you don’t want to make your neighbor unemployed, that wasn’t your goal but that are the consequences in a capitalistic money system.
In an Equal Money System people will be taught to take their responsibility or are already aware of the consequences their actions can have. A total dependence/addiction of a nation on a plastic bag would not be the starting point, simple because it’s not in the best interest of all. And with all I mean all animals and nature. A factory that only makes plastic bags or plastic products is quite depended on oil, is such a factory an addition to society? These worker when they can not work anymore they have a hard time surviving, in an EMS these workers have still their basic income and are not depended on this salary. When money has the value of life there isn’t such a thing as making products against life, investing in products against life or making profit out of products against life. When something doesn’t work in society, such as the plastic bag, in an EMS it’s easy to adjust because there is no one depending on it, nobody looses profit and nobody is the victim of the situation, you just change it. You just adjust it till it’s in the best interest of all and that change can be in any given moment. You see there doesn’t exist “a special moment” anymore, all is equal.