Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Bag Snatcher Brigade

Teams of volunteers armed with pincers on long poles
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I don't know know if this a universal phenomenon, but it certainly plagues New York City and parts of Africa:

The wind picks up discarded plastic bags and deposits them in trees, where the unsightly tattered remains remain for years.

So, on the model of the groups that clear tropical beaches and reefs of plastic netting, I propose we arm small teams of bag snatchers, with twenty or thirty foot long versions of the devices stores use to reach objects on high shelves. Then we let them roam the streets, or fields, clearing trees of the plastic bags caught in their branches.

In urban areas, we can simply add these tools to the pruning devices used by the tree maintenance crews. Elsewhere, we can draw on the ranks of people who are normally inclined to pick up other people's litter, just to make the world a better place.

DrCurry, Jun 10 2006

Tools like this http://www.independ....asp?number=609242N
Only about twenty or thirty feet longer. [DrCurry, Jun 10 2006]

(??) Was a good idea then, happens to be a good idea now! http://ccwf.cc.utex...edonian_phalanx.jpg
[Letsbuildafort, Jun 10 2006]

Twenty or thirty foot version sans workers. http://www.roadside...ions.ca/pincers.htm
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jun 11 2006]

[link]






       It would be fun to see them pluck bags out of the air, too.
phundug, Jun 10 2006
  

       Would a sticky ball on a length of string and a well aimed shot do just as well? I like the image of barge pole sized picker-uppers though.
fridge duck, Jun 10 2006
  

       IIRC, Outside magazine ran an article about a guy from NYC who does this. Croissant.
baconbrain, Jun 10 2006
  

       Brings rise to the new phrase "I wouldn't go near him with a bag snatcher." +
dbmag9, Jun 10 2006
  

       Aww - I was hoping this was a plot for mass mugging.
Letsbuildafort, Jun 10 2006
  

       i know they're for plastic bags, but they should wear capes and masks anyway.
tcarson, Jun 11 2006
  

       + I'd volunteer!
xandram, Jun 12 2006
  

       in places it looks like a "bag day" celebration upon which all the trees are decorated with plastic bags. I wish the Eastern states would ban plastic bags.
dentworth, Jun 21 2011
  

       Enlist the bird- and squirrel-feeding brigade. They could hand out peanuts in exchange for bits of bag. Pretty soon the smarter animals would catch on. Probably the rats & crows would form a mafia and crowd the squirels & pigeons out.
mouseposture, Jun 21 2011
  

       … and then we can send in the C-130's at treetop height to drench the little bastards with napalm …   

       A Spectre does a neat job against human targets, but for rats, flame is the answer. After all, "It is better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness".
8th of 7, Jun 21 2011
  

       I think that "Bag Snatcher" would make a fine song, in the epic mode, preferably sung by a bearded busker energetically strumming a loose-strung acoustic guitar.
bungston, Jun 21 2011
  
      
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