Dear Editor:

We had the ban the plastic bag thing go through Canmore, where I live, a few years ago, when a lady who ran a childrens trinket store decided to make it her mission to ban plastic bags. She eventually got on television to explain her position and it became a large topic of controversy here while it lasted.

Having spent my entire life in the automotive trade of collision repair, I have a slightly different view on the entire matter of consumer ethics. vs. product addiction. While it may be a perfectly fine way to engage the community at large and encourage recognition of the damage consumption of plastic grocery shopping bags represents in the waste stream, we should become aware also that these items are an extremely tiny part of it.

We may want to, just for a moment, look at the tens of millions of polystyrene foam clamshell containers the MacDonalds chains of the world deliver hamburgers in each month. Or the straws, kids trinkets, etc.

My favorite subject is the automotive usage of plastic. If your vehicle is newer than 1972, it is full of petroleum-based plastics, a variety of which number in the hundreds. The front and rear bumpers on nearly every vehicle in the world today are plastic. There are astounding mountains of this material stored at bumper repair shops throughout the land with no demand for them, either as recycled automotive products or for reuse as recycled consumables.

Given a little thought, we can very quickly deduct that plastic shopping bags are really an insignificant part of this worldwide problem. And it certainly raises the question if the effort has any real value if measured against total consumption of plastics worldwide.

My solution: boycott every dollar store, kids store and fast food outlet, and let them know why you will not buy from them. Impossible on a large scale basis? Yes. Could someone stop the billions of tons of waste plastics that flow from the latest gizmo cascading from the electronics industry? The answer is NO.

When I open a new package of razor blades, I do not need or want the packaging they come in. I need the blades and would be happy to just go and purchase them bulk. Unfortunately, I do not have that choice.

Alvin Shier, Canmore, Alberta