Let me make a terrible confession. In a kitchen cupboard I keep an enormous trove of what the news media keep telling me are single-use plastic bags. The trove exists because the description is, well, rubbish. A 50-liter trash bag is for a single use. The little bags I get from the store — or used to get from the store — I nearly always reuse.

Alas, my trove will stop growing. This week, Connecticut joined the cascade of localities that have implemented plastic-bag bans. The main reason, as far as I can tell, is that the government thinks I’m an uneducable dunce. If the government believed anything else, it would surely consider educating me in the environmental impact of various means of carrying goods home from the store, rather than telling me what I can and cannot do. I find it a continuing mystery that our quite sensible worry about climate change must always lead to fewer choices for ordinary people.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.