And most importantly, a ban is the one sure way to stop progress in its tracks. Modern plastic bags are the most environmentally friendly yet: They thinned down a third between 1977 and 1990, and have even started to appear in biodegradable form (at least these compostable bags are exempt from the San Francisco ban). Banning the product removes the incentive to improve it, just as it discourages individuals from educating themselves about their choices. Environmentalists need to reflect upon these long-term consequences before they charge in with sledgehammers to kill flies. Their current mentality—"for your own good"—simply isn't sustainable.
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