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Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Elected as a Member of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly for the Constituency of Saanich South on May 12, 2009. New Democratic Opposition Critic for the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands. Raised on Quadra Island and has an undergraduate degree from the University of British Columbia. Extensive track record as a community leader, advocate and environmental activist.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A bit of a spitting match.......

A letter sent to the Victoria News:

Lana Popham’s campaign to ban disposable plastic bags brings to mind
the observation of Westminster parliamentarian A.P. Herbert: “Let’s
find out what everybody is doing and then stop them doing it,” for
there was never a more easily compactible, convenient and clean
method for collecting articles from the shops, especially groceries.

On the other hand, the type of canvas receptacle, which she and her
Labrador dog are carrying in your photograph, are placed by some
people on the ground, in the dog basket or on the lavatory floor and
are thus thoroughly contaminated by the time they reach the turntable
at the grocery supermarket upon which other customers will follow
with their food purchases.

How often does Popham clean and disinfect the bags in which she
collects her groceries and does she ever place them on the checkout

Disposable plastic or paper bags serve many other uses in our modern
world – ask Dog George about his toilet requirements.

Ralph Smith


My emailed response:

Re: Many good uses for plastic bags

Although it may be quite satisfying to try and make a bad example out
of such a good one like reusable grocery bags, you raise a good
point. Reusable bags are washable. You wondered in your letter how
often do I wash these bags? Quite often. I think it it is important
to throw them into the wash in order to keep them clean for grocery
shopping. Try as you may to discourage my quest to ban plastic
grocery bags in our area but this will be in vain. You hit the nail
on the head with your further comments. Plastic grocery bags are a
modern day convenience. In fact, they are a ugly habit of
convenience. Such a wasteful product. So harmful to our
environment. But what about George? Thanks for asking. I take care
of his bag needs by using a biodegradable doggie bag. These are
"small" bags that break down after time. I do not use a large
grocery bag for this purpose. Here is a quip that is much more up to
date than your Westminster parliamentarian A.P. Herberts: : “Let’s
find out what everybody is doing and then ask why?"