The XX Factor

Cat Owners Vs. Environmentalists

Few stories cause me as many mixed feelings as reading that Los Angeles has banned plastic bags .  The sober-minded environmentalist in me applauds this move as a necessary one to convince wasteful stores and consumers to move toward reusable cloth bags.  But the cat owner in me is beginning to panic at the thought, especially since I live in New York, which is probably going to fall next in this war on plastic bags.

Does no one on the L.A. County Board of Supervisors own a cat that uses a litterbox?  As far as I can tell, there’s only one real way to efficiently scoop out and dispose of cat droppings from their box, and that’s to do so using those plastic grocery bags.  As a committed environmentalist with a tinge of snooty yuppie, I do use a cloth bag for much of my shopping, but we all manage to accrue enough of those plastic bags in your day-to-day shopping that I always have a stash of them under my sink, enough to make sure that I have one on hand every day for the litterbox purge.  I fear that without these plastic bags handed out freely in every supermarket, clothing store, liquor store, book store, and convenience store, I might be forced to buy plastic bags to empty out the box.  Then each bag only gets one use, and I’ve lost points on the reduce/reuse/recycle scale.  But the stores do give out so many of those bags that most of them really are just being wasted after one use.

Last time I was in England, they just charged you 10 pence at the grocery store for each bag.  Would that be a better solution?