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English Town Hopes to Reduce Crime By Banning Plastic Bags
by Kris on 4/30/2007 (0)

That's a whole lot of trouble brewing.
London, England - A small, misguided southwest Britain town is banning plastic bags in a bid to curb plastic bag related crimes, a move that is a first for Europe.

"Plastic bags are a key ingredient in many if not all today's criminal acts," said local police. "When you need to smuggle drugs across the border, you put them up your ass in a plastic bag. When you wish to suffocate someone, you put his or her head in a plastic bag. When you need to make a daring rooftop escape after robbing the local jewelry store, you make a parachute out of a plastic bag."

Shopkeepers in Modbury, population 1,500, agreed to stop giving out disposable plastic bags to customers on Saturday. They will give out paper sacks and hollowed out pumpkins instead.

"You can't kill a man with a paper bag or a pumpkin," said Ralph Barge, owner of Barge's Beets. "Well, you probably could, but it we be rather inefficient."

Last month, San Francisco became the first U.S. city to ban plastic grocery bags after the aptly named "Plastic Bag Killer" suffocated nine pigeons using groceries bags he had gathered legally throughout the year.

Internationally, legislation to discourage plastic bag use has been passed in parts of South Africa, Ireland and Taiwan, where authorities either tax shoppers who use them or require extensive background checks and psychological evaluations of anyone wishing to use one.

The Modbury ban was the idea of Rebecca Hosking, a local resident who saw the effect of bags on marine life while working in the Pacific as a wildlife camerawoman. Hosking single-handedly snuffed out seven dolphins using plastic bags and saved a raft full of helpless fish heads from being devoured.

She said response in the town so far had been "really positive" and plastic bag related crimes have already been significantly reduced. Hosking also thought it would be cool to be quoted in a "real news publication" someday.

The Worldwatch Institute, an environmental research agency, estimates that more than 500 billion plastic bags are used annually around the world, at least half of which are for perpetrating crimes.s/tds/go.php?

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