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Thursday, January 27, 2022
Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: Come now … this isn't really about the environment

Editor’s Notebook: Come now … this isn’t really about the environment

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A grocery store that shall remain unnamed except it isn’t either Giant or Safeway put out a press release a couple of days ago, saying that it was doing away with plastic bags in Northern Virginia, and intimating it taking the step because it was the environmentally friendly thing to do.

And yes, it is the environmentally friendly thing to do, but I’ve got a sneaking suspicion this unnamed chain (hint: rhymes with “Blegmans”…) was actually doing it because it didn’t want to deal with the soon-to-arrive taxes on plastic bags, imposed by local governments after receiving authority from the soon-to-depart Democratic majority in Richmond.

It’s quite the Rube Goldberg-esque arrangement that Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria et al have imposed – taxing most, but not all, single-use plastic bags, keeping the bulk of the revenue for their own coffers while letting the retailer keep a pittance for administering the whole shebang.

Our unnamed grocery chain decided it wasn’t worth the trouble, it seems. Patrons can still get paper bags there (and pay for the privilege) or can bring their own reusable bags.

I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong (wrong? me?), but years ago it was postulated that, when taking the entirety of environmental impact into account, it actually was worse for Mother Gaia to be using paper rather than plastic. Hmmm.

And of course, as was noted by skeptics when the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors (in its charmingly sanctimonious and high-handed way) voted 9-1 to impose this tax, Fairfax County and the U.S. could completely give up on plastic bags, and it would barely make a dent, given the gazillions being used in … wait for it … wait for it …. China.

Funny how the world works.

AT LEAST MY CAR ISN’T GASSY: About 18 months ago, one of those pesky dashboard warning lights came on in my Hyundai, which of course meant a stop in to the mechanic and shelling out some bucks merely for the privilege of learning “the code” that indicated what might be awry.

Turned out it was, in theory, a minor fix, which took place. However, the technicians warned me that it may be something more significant, having to do with the exhaust system.

“We can try to figure out if it’s a bigger problem now, or you can wait until your next emissions inspection comes up and see if it passes – then you’ll know,” they said at the time

Not wanting to toss away more money at the moment, I opted to wait.

Judgment day came last week, when I toodled in to the Midas at Columbia Pike and South Glebe Road (my go-to spot of choice for both annual safety and every-other-year emissions inspections).

Whew! Turns out there indeed was no problem. Everything passed, which made me good to go for another two years once I paid the state gub’mint its $60 or so for registration.

So at least there’s proof that one member of the McCaffrey family isn’t gassy. (And, to be fair, Albert the wonder cat has no gas issues. He does snore a little, but frankly, that’s just adorable.)

– Scott McCaffrey

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