San-Francisco-style plastic bag ban becoming a national fad

posted at 3:05 pm on March 29, 2012 by Tina Korbe

It seems like such a small issue, hardly one to warrant an outraged reaction. After all, if a city or state chooses to implement a plastic bag ban and residents don’t like it, residents are free to move, right? That’s true — but, as more states consider a ban on the easily recyclable grocery store staples, the topic seems worth a post. As Ronald Reagan once said, “The first duty of government is to protect the people, not run their lives.” Shouldn’t that go for local and state governments, as well?

In her eye-opening defense of Romneycare, Ann Coulter once argued that state-level governments are authorized by the Constitution to essentially compel citizens to do whatever, whenever, wherever. Even if that’s true, does it follow that they should? The perils of government intervention might be less at the local or state level, but they’re still there. Consider these bag bans. They might actually have the opposite of their intended effect — and they cost manufacturing jobs to boot. From Breitbart:

The nanny state fad, which notched an important victory late last year in Seattle, is predicated on the notion that plastic bags are irresponsibly produced and rarely recycled. Yet neither warped argument is grounded in reality.

Moving consumers away from plastic bags only pushes people to less environmentally friendly options such as paper bags, which require more energy to produce and transport, and reusable bags, which are not recyclable,” the vice president of sustainability and environmental policy for Hilex Poly, the company who launched the Bag the Ban group, told the New York Times of the Seattle ban.

An analysis by the United Kingdom’s Environment Agency revealed in 2006 that plastic bags have a lighter environmental footprint than paper alternatives.

American plastic bags, which represent a majority of those in circulation in American markets, are overwhelmingly the product of natural gas, not oil. 85 percent of the raw material used for the bags are the products of natural gas. And, according to figures by the Environmental Protection Agency, plastic bag recycling has doubled in the last 9 years. 900 million pounds of bags were recycled in 2010 alone.

Again, plastic bags actually have a lighter environmental footprint than paper alternatives. So, what? Should we just stop trying at any level to improve society through government? Er, maybe. Government exists to ensure order; it doesn’t exist to solve every societal ill. It’s a referee, not a coach. The sooner we get back to that mentality — again, at every level of government — the better.


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Sheesh… remember when plastic bags were the more environmentally-friendly alternative to paper bags?

I guess there was not enough recycling of those bags going on. :/

TMOverbeck on March 29, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Meh, such European ‘fashion’ emulation.

Suffocate in yer bags, morons who promote all this.

Schadenfreude on March 29, 2012 at 3:08 PM

residents are free to move, right?

Given the soft housing market, I can’t move, can’t sell my house.

And I reuse plastic bags as garbage bags. So these nanny-staters will force me to spend money on plastic garbage bags rather than reuse a free one.

rbj on March 29, 2012 at 3:09 PM

When I was visiting DC recently, I noticed that they charged you per bag. That was the first time I’ve ever seen this.

inthemiddle on March 29, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Memo to San Fran,which is it,plastic,or choppy down trees
for paper bags!(sarc0

canopfor on March 29, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Gaea does not like plastic bags. That’s all.

pedestrian on March 29, 2012 at 3:10 PM

They just passed this garbage in Austin, but the alternative isn’t paper — it’s reusable canvas bags that people have to buy themselves. The city council voted at 2 a.m. in the middle of the night in order to circumvent opposition from people attending the meeting. It goes into effect next year; I can’t wait to see what kind of backlash is in store.

Caiwyn on March 29, 2012 at 3:10 PM

I’m going to buy plastic bags. Bring them to store and tell the clerks to bag my items in plastic.

Oil Can on March 29, 2012 at 3:10 PM

If they spread to so many other places that people literally can’t move where they can buy groceries the way they prefer, that should be read in itself as evidence that maybe the ban—as micromanaging as it as—is a good idea. I think this nation made that kind of mistake really only once with Prohibition, and we made a U-turn on that fairly quickly.

(And since we all know that plastic bags are merely greeny enemy du jour, not actual threat to our health and environment, we know it won’t spread much beyond the crazies in California—we are worrying about a problem that we won’t face, if we pay attention to our local governments.)

novakyu on March 29, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Also, national debt will be $16 trillion in a few months….all this cr#p is just time wasters.

Oil Can on March 29, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Proof yet again — as if people actually needed further proof — that liberals do not think; they feel. In the face of all reason, they feel that plastic bags are bad, so they ban plastic bags, thus allowing themselves to feel good about themselves.

catsandbooks on March 29, 2012 at 3:14 PM

This happened years ago while I was living in France. What (often) happens is that people buy the expensive reusable bags, take them home, and pile them in a corner. Then throw them away. It’s easier to buy them than to go back out to the car with a few screaming kids.

Prufrock on March 29, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Our local conservative talk show host was buying groceries a few weeks ago. The bagger asked if he wanted paper or plastic. He said plastic. Some gal behind him just had a snit(some greenie I guess)! He proceded to tell this gal that out of over $90 worth of groceries, the ONLY thing he was buying that was NOT plastic was a paper container that had oatmeal. The plastic bag was not going to make a flying bit of difference when all was in the trash!
L

letget on March 29, 2012 at 3:16 PM

O/T…..Team Obama loses once again!
———————————–

US Senate defeats oil subsidies bill despite Obama’s call for Congress to pass the bill –

@nationaljournalStory
Submitted 2 hours ago from nationaljournal.com
http://www.breakingnews.com/
=============================

Updated: March 29, 2012 | 2:08 p.m.
March 29, 2012 | 11:57 a.m.
http://nationaljournal.com/domesticpolicy/despite-obama-s-call-senate-blocks-oil-subsidies-bill-20120329
*****************************************

US President Obama says oil companies are raking in record profits, must cut tax subsidies to them – @ReutersStory

Submitted 4 hours ago from af.reuters.com
==========================================

@markknoller tweeted:
*********************

In Rose Garden, Pres Obama says the three biggest U.S. oil companies took home more than $80 billion in profit & dont need US subsidies.

Submitted 4 hours ago from twitter.com/markknoller
http://www.breakingnews.com/
============================

canopfor on March 29, 2012 at 3:17 PM

So these nanny-staters will force me to spend money on plastic garbage bags rather than reuse a free one.

Shhhh. As soon as these nanny-staters discover you BUY plastic garbage bags, you can count on them being outlawed.

They just passed this garbage in Austin, but the alternative isn’t paper — it’s reusable canvas bags that people have to buy themselves

Yup..reusable canvas bags are our future. Also a nostalgic return to wax paper baggies and aluminum foil for our brown canvas -bag lunches.

hawkeye54 on March 29, 2012 at 3:18 PM

“Why even city-and-state-level nanny statism needs to stop.”

“Oh, so now Tina hates the 10th amendment too!” – Romney

Buckshot Bill on March 29, 2012 at 3:19 PM

From personal observation, I can tell you that the stores in SF’s Chinatown totally ignore the city’s plastic bag ban. They ALL use plastic bags for every purchase. As do many other stores, besides. Only self-righteous asshole stores and restaurants catering to insufferable liberals obey the ban.

And then they all get home to discover that the take-out food has leaked grease on their hemp re-usable shopping bags. HA-ha!!!

Zombie on March 29, 2012 at 3:21 PM

O/T….on the batting deck….Team GOP!
—————————————

US House votes down Democrat budget proposal, 163-262; debate begins on GOP budget

Submitted 38 mins ago
http://www.breakingnews.com/
=============================

canopfor on March 29, 2012 at 3:21 PM

They just passed this garbage in Austin, but the alternative isn’t paper — it’s reusable canvas bags that people have to buy themselves. The city council voted at 2 a.m. in the middle of the night in order to circumvent opposition from people attending the meeting. It goes into effect next year; I can’t wait to see what kind of backlash is in store.

Caiwyn on March 29, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Indeed.

TexasDan on March 29, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Ok….so long as nobody minds my dog’s turds left on the sidewalk.

I’m not picking those up in my re-usable canvas bag!

Ditkaca on March 29, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Freedom!

minnesoter on March 29, 2012 at 3:23 PM

The sooner we get back to that mentality — again, at every level of government — the better.
============================

Common Sense is……MIA!!!

canopfor on March 29, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Reuseable bags are full of e.coli.

vityas on March 29, 2012 at 3:24 PM

I have no problem with this at all.

It’s the way the 10th amendment is supposed to work – pushing most decision-making to the local level.

halfastro on March 29, 2012 at 3:25 PM

I’ll just leave this here.

Client Number Nine on March 29, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Those ” canvas ” bags become very germ filled after a few uses . They are
a synthetic fiber and can’t be washed .

Lucano on March 29, 2012 at 3:26 PM

The city where I lived banned plastic bags. You can buy paper bags from the stores for 10 cents each.

Or, you can go across the city limits and give them your business. It’s not like city government is interested in things like jobs.

malclave on March 29, 2012 at 3:26 PM

They tried it here in Madison a couple of years ago, along with plastic water bottles. It failed miserably.

MadisonConservative on March 29, 2012 at 3:27 PM

In her eye-opening defense of Romneycare, Ann Coulter once argued that state-level governments are authorized by the Constitution to essentially compel citizens to do whatever, whenever, wherever. Even if that’s true, does it follow that they should?

Here is the fundamental difference between full-throated Romney supporters and those who still question his conservative bona fides. Those, like Ann Coulter, who defend it by saying it is Constitutional simply don’t get what the others are saying.

cptacek on March 29, 2012 at 3:27 PM

Reuseable bags are full of e.coli.

vityas on March 29, 2012 at 3:24 PM

I recommend a bunch of hot water and detergent. And your gas dryer set extremely high for twice as long just to make sure.

All for mother earth!

Ditkaca on March 29, 2012 at 3:27 PM

Local municipalities are getting completely out of control – especially in the suburbs of major cities. Unfortunately most people don’t really notice because they aren’t trying to build anything. Hopefully this bag nonsense will wake some people up.

Power does not need to be transferred from the feral government to state and local government. Government at all levels needs to have its power reduced.

forest on March 29, 2012 at 3:27 PM

Oh boohoo. So you have to give up your plastic bag. Time for the “socialism!” comments to commence.

ElenaKagan on March 29, 2012 at 3:28 PM

SF bag ban and fee proposal gets unanimous OK
Feb 7
*****

Plastic shopping bags in San Francisco may soon land in the Museum of What Was since the Board of Supervisors gave preliminary approval today to expand the city’s plastic bag ban to all retail stores and restaurants and impose a 10-cent charge on all other bags handed out at checkout.

The new rules, expected to be given final approval next week, would go into effect Oct. 1 for retail businesses and next year for restaurants.(More….)

http://blog.sfgate.com/cityinsider/2012/02/07/sf-bag-ban-and-fee-proposal-gets-unanimous-ok/
==============================

canopfor on March 29, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Ok….so long as nobody minds my dog’s turds left on the sidewalk.

I’m not picking those up in my re-usable canvas bag!

Ditkaca on March 29, 2012 at 3:23 PM

My sentiments exactly.

Quisp on March 29, 2012 at 3:29 PM

It appears the Environmental Holier-than-thou Wackos want
to save Gia,from the Evil You Should know better types!!
(sarc)

canopfor on March 29, 2012 at 3:31 PM

And I reuse plastic bags as garbage bags. So these nanny-staters will force me to spend money on plastic garbage bags rather than reuse a free one.

rbj on March 29, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Me too. I use them as a cheap (lol, they are free) alternative to a diaper genie (just twist after each diaper) and I line my bathroom can with them as well.

cptacek on March 29, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Then how am I supposed to tie up my garbage?

Paul-Cincy on March 29, 2012 at 3:31 PM

After they announced that they were going to start charging for bags, some guys knocked on my door wanting me to sign a petition to increase it from a dime to a quarter per bag. They acted shocked when I said no, I wouldn’t sign.

Blake on March 29, 2012 at 3:34 PM

You’d be surprised how many cities in conservative West Texas are considering the ban right now. Fort Stockton already has passed it, mainly because the winds blow so much out here and the plastic bags are a pain in the arse to try and pull out of mesquite thorns and scrub brush, and can become a problem for cattle and other livestock when its blown out into the fields.

Most cities in the area are trying to go with public education efforts right now, so that, say, oilfield people buying a lot of stuff at the local Walmart don’t just dump the things into their vehicles or coolers and leave the plastic bags lying in the parking lot. But if the self-policing efforts don’t change the situation, you will see more of the bag bans go into effect.

jon1979 on March 29, 2012 at 3:34 PM

I sell sweet corn every year, and use old plastic bags to hold the ears in groups of 12 or so. Very convenient.

Buckshot Bill on March 29, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Plasticbaglaws.org

A resource for legislative bodies considering laws limiting the use of plastic bags
*******************

A short history of plastic bag laws in California
California state law (AB 2449) preempts municipalities from charging a fee for plastic bags at checkout. San Francisco circumvented this law by enacting a ban on plastic bags instead of imposing a fee. (read more . . .)

http://plasticbaglaws.org/
===========================

Assembly Bill No. 2449
***********************

http://plasticbaglaws.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/leg_CA_AB-2449-text1.pdf

canopfor on March 29, 2012 at 3:36 PM

You’d be surprised how many cities in conservative West Texas are considering the ban right now. Fort Stockton already has passed it, mainly because the winds blow so much out here and the plastic bags are a pain in the arse to try and pull out of mesquite thorns and scrub brush, and can become a problem for cattle and other livestock when its blown out into the fields.

Most cities in the area are trying to go with public education efforts right now, so that, say, oilfield people buying a lot of stuff at the local Walmart don’t just dump the things into their vehicles or coolers and leave the plastic bags lying in the parking lot. But if the self-policing efforts don’t change the situation, you will see more of the bag bans go into effect.

jon1979 on March 29, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Maybe local stores should offer a penny/nickel for each bag then, like they used to do for glass soda/beer bottles.

Buckshot Bill on March 29, 2012 at 3:38 PM

O/T….Jus Rollin in!

US House OKs $3.5 trillion GOP budget that revamps Medicare, cuts spending, rejects tax hikes on rich

Submitted 6 mins ago by editor
===============================

@frankthorpNBC tweeted:
***********************

House GOP budget now has 218 with 45 members yet to vote.

Submitted 15 mins ago from twitter.com/frankthorpNBC
http://www.breakingnews.com/
=============================

canopfor on March 29, 2012 at 3:39 PM

O/T..RE:Budget!
—————

@politico tweeted:
*******************

The House approves Rep. Paul Ryan’s fiscal 2013 budget on a partisan 228-191 vote.

Submitted 9 mins ago from twitter.com/politico
http://www.breakingnews.com/
============================

canopfor on March 29, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Oh boohoo. So you have to give up your plastic bag. Time for the “socialism!” comments to commence.

ElenaKagan on March 29, 2012 at 3:28 PM

Shouldn’t you be writing your SCOTUS opinion of how great your ex-boss’s health care law is and how we need to keep it, no matter its constitutionality?

Bitter Clinger on March 29, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Ok….so long as nobody minds my dog’s turds left on the sidewalk.

I’m not picking those up in my re-usable canvas bag!

Ditkaca on March 29, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Ditkaca:I too,do not pick up,after my Lab does his nasty,it’ll
find its way into mother earth!

canopfor on March 29, 2012 at 3:45 PM

The plastic bag controversy always reminds me of George Carlin:

“…The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we’re gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, ’cause that’s what it does. It’s a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the earth will be renewed. And if it’s true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new paradigm: the earth plus plastic. The earth doesn’t share our prejudice toward plastic. Plastic came out of the earth. The earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place. It wanted plastic for itself. Didn’t know how to make it. Needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old egocentric philosophical question, “Why are we here?”

Plastic… a**hole.”

Fallon on March 29, 2012 at 3:45 PM

ElenaKagan on March 29, 2012 at 3:28 PM
—————————————-

Shouldn’t you be writing your SCOTUS opinion of how great your ex-boss’s health care law is and how we need to keep it, no matter its constitutionality?

Bitter Clinger on March 29, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Bitter Clinger:Good point,haha(sarc)!:)

canopfor on March 29, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Plastic… a**hole.”
Fallon on March 29, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Fallon:Exactly!:)

canopfor on March 29, 2012 at 3:48 PM

canopfor ,
Thanks as always for the updates .

Lucano on March 29, 2012 at 3:54 PM

ElenaKagan on March 29, 2012 at 3:28 PM

You’re always sucking on your pacifier, you big woman, you.

Schadenfreude on March 29, 2012 at 3:54 PM

As a resident of Montgomery County, Maryland, which now has a 5-cent “bag tax” on either plastic or paper, I found this live-tweet of a Brooklyn food coop meeting hilarious.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on March 29, 2012 at 3:55 PM

One problem is that these bag bans are based on a mistaken typo of a study several years ago.

This 2008 article from the Times of London explains what happened:

http://www.savetheplasticbag.com/ReadContent609.aspx

Basically someone misquoted a study and that news traveled around the world. Then it was corrected and nobody paid any attention to the correction.

Plastic bags DO NOT harm animals.

crosspatch on March 29, 2012 at 3:57 PM

There’s a certain large San Francisco health food store (not Whole Foods, but similar) where the cashiers would lecture you if you requested paper over plastic, because they believed it killed trees. Almost every time, I explained that the paper industry plants new trees to replenish the forest and that, because of the paper industry, there are probably more trees alive today than ever before.

The cashiers kept doing this until plastic bags were banned by the far-left City regime. The idea was put forward that the plastic bags were collecting out in the Pacific in a massive plastic bag island, which floated from place to place. Of course, they don’t have pictures, and they don’t know where it is right now.

But then, overnight, plastic bags were bad and the paper bags were good. It was like a Soviet regime change–the same way that Trotsky, who was “in,” suddenly became “out.”

Emperor Norton on March 29, 2012 at 3:57 PM

Maybe local stores should offer a penny/nickel for each bag then, like they used to do for glass soda/beer bottles.

Buckshot Bill on March 29, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Wouldn’t work. Plastic bags are cheap to produce since they are flimsy things. Paper weigh more per bag and are a bit more expensive for the stores to purchase and get shipped so many places have used plastic only. If places don’t jump on the buy your own canvas bandwagon, they will switch to paper only and you’ll see an increase in their prices pretty quickly.

BakerAllie on March 29, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Just make them from corn like they do plastic cups. Problem solved.

reddevil on March 29, 2012 at 4:00 PM

As with a lot of things there is a free market solution to this “problem.” Where I live most stores choose for whatever their reasons to reimburse shoppers 3-5 cents for each bag that gets reused regardless of the type. They also all offer for sale for around a dollar, sturdy, fashionable tote bags.

hopeful on March 29, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Caiwyn on March 29, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Wait until someone gets food poisoning from the bacterial contamination these bags suffer from. Let’s put some more stress on the emergency rooms.

chemman on March 29, 2012 at 4:00 PM

When I was visiting DC recently, I noticed that they charged you per bag. That was the first time I’ve ever seen this.

inthemiddle on March 29, 2012 at 3:09 PM

I didn’t think DC did this, but just north of the District in Montgomery County (where I live) they started forcing stores to charge you $.10 a bag.

I won’t pay it, so I drive to Howard County to do my shopping. So not only am I not not using plastic bags, but I’m contributing to global warming by driving 12 miles to the neighboring county. Less business in the county, but oh well.

The libs can go screw themselves. I think I’ll burn a couple of tires in my backyard when I get home tonight…

PetecminMd on March 29, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Austin banned plastic bags? Looks like I’m shopping in Buda.

Vera on March 29, 2012 at 4:06 PM

Tina, I am not so sure the proper response is to take such drastic actions as to move. I believe the correct action is vote those city council members out of office and have the statute change.

I use those plastic bags around the house and appreciate being able to get them free. I also have canvas bags I use when I have enough plastic ones.

Anywho… The nanny-staters will never stop doing things for our own good. We must stop them.

stvnscott on March 29, 2012 at 4:07 PM

The primary advantage to this is that it allows additional tax revenue without having to look like the “bad guy”.

San Jose instituted such a ban. No plastic bags and if you want a paper bag it will cost 10 cents which goes to the city.

The city knows that people will need to dash in to a store and pick up a few things and not have their reusable bag handy and will pay the 10 cent bag tax.

It amounts to additional revenue for the city.

I now shop in Campbell, Cupertino and Saratoga California, neighboring cities which do not have the San Jose bag ban. Those jurisdictions are now collecting the sales tax that San Jose is losing.

San Jose is losing a lot more from me than they are gaining with the bag ban.

Also, reusable bags for groceries are unsanitary, people do not wash them often enough and they get nasty. People handle produce and other grocery items and put them back on the shelf. You put them in your bag. If you do not wash your bag after each trip to the store, the inside of the bag collects bacteria.

Bag bans could well result in an increase in disease transmission in cities.

crosspatch on March 29, 2012 at 4:07 PM

I didn’t think DC did this, but just north of the District in Montgomery County (where I live) they started forcing stores to charge you $.10 a bag.

PetecminMd on March 29, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Maybe a good protest would be to start handing out these at the entrance for all the customers to use:

“Thank you” plastic bags, 1600 ct

They can’t charge you if you bring them in yourself.

BakerAllie on March 29, 2012 at 4:07 PM

ElenaKagan on March 29, 2012 at 3:28 PM

Shouldn’t you be out trying to sell a few more of our progeny into penury slavery instead of wasting precious time posting here?

chemman on March 29, 2012 at 4:08 PM

In her eye-opening defense of Romneycare, Ann Coulter once argued that state-level governments are authorized by the Constitution to essentially compel citizens to do whatever, whenever, wherever. Even if that’s true, does it follow that they should?

Exactly. Even if Romneycare is Constitutional while Obamacare is not, that does not mean that Socialism on the state level is suddenly cool.

You can argue for federalism, but that does not imply that conservatives should embrace $15/hr MW, Socialized healthcare or grandiose social programs… just because they’re done on the state level.

I’m praying Romney gets this.

mankai on March 29, 2012 at 4:12 PM

ElenaKagan on March 29, 2012 at 3:28 PM

All these little control mechanisms drive up costs to the consumer.

I’ve just lost you.

mankai on March 29, 2012 at 4:13 PM

crosspatch on March 29, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Fine minds and all that. :)

In order to properly sanitize the bag you have to do more that just wash then. The problem with that is it weakens the canvas fibers and the bags break down faster. People don’t want to be purchasing new bags 3-4 times a year which is why they risk contamination problems.

chemman on March 29, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Maybe local stores should offer a penny/nickel for each bag then, like they used to do for glass soda/beer bottles.

Buckshot Bill on March 29, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Yes that would be better- you should be paid a refund if you return the plastic bag.

Keep in mind that major global problems, such as the Pacific Trash Vortex, are part of the impetus for moving away from plastic. It doesn’t matter whether the plastic comes from oil or natural gas- it still isn’t biodegradable.

Anyone who’s actually seen this in Hawaii will never think about plastic the same way again.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/5208645/Drowning-in-plastic-The-Great-Pacific-Garbage-Patch-is-twice-the-size-of-France.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_Garbage_Patch

bayam on March 29, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Like SF doesn’t have any REAL problems to deal with…

Khun Joe on March 29, 2012 at 4:16 PM

The lunatic-left dolts really, really need BIG GOVERNMENT and its stooges in the lamestream socialist media to tell them what to wear, what to eat, what to think, what to drive, what to carry groceries in, what box to check in elections, what to drink, what to do every moment of every day….

Otherwise, they would just endlessly spin around in circles until they collapsed into a hot steamy pile.

People with BRAINS do not need the lunatic-left nanny state!

TeaPartyNation on March 29, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Liberals I know don’t tie up their trash. So some trash days there’s trash up and down the street. I use plastic grocery bags, and larger trash bags. Shows consideration for the sanitation workers and the neighborhood both.

If they stop providing plastic grocery bags … then everyone can be like a liberal, dump their garbage in their cans, loose, flying all over on trash day, with maggots and flies and rotten smells. Sigh.

Paul-Cincy on March 29, 2012 at 4:18 PM

I will stockpile plastic grocery bags like I’ve done with light bulbs.

I reuse all of my plastic bags. Like others have mentioned, to put in our bathroom trashcans, the kids’ bedroom trashcans, to pick up dog poo (on walks and from the backyard) and so many other things.

I really dislike the re-useable bags and really only use the two I have (that my MIL gave me) for the kids’ beach bags or going swimming. :)

JennM111 on March 29, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Like SF doesn’t have any REAL problems to deal with…

Khun Joe on March 29, 2012 at 4:16 PM

Which ones?

bayam on March 29, 2012 at 4:20 PM

The idea was put forward that the plastic bags were collecting out in the Pacific in a massive plastic bag island, which floated from place to place. Of course, they don’t have pictures, and they don’t know where it is right now.

It’s called the Pacific Trash Vortex and it’s been extensively studied by marine biologists and other researchers. The trash is spread all over the Pacific, often just under the waterline, and a similar body of trash can be found in the Atlantic.

bayam on March 29, 2012 at 4:22 PM

In order to properly sanitize the bag you have to do more that just wash then. The problem with that is it weakens the canvas fibers and the bags break down faster. People don’t want to be purchasing new bags 3-4 times a year which is why they risk contamination problems.

chemman on March 29, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Adding just because I don’t want anyone getting sick: Add a cup of white vinegar to the wash water and it will help to sanitize it better than just the soap.

BakerAllie on March 29, 2012 at 4:23 PM

Even if Romneycare is Constitutional while Obamacare is not, that does not mean that Socialism on the state level is suddenly cool.

It is in states where the people WANT state level socialism. If that is what they want, fine, let them implement it. When businesses flee and their economy craters, they will see the error of their ways and fix it. In the meantime, the damage is limited to only one state. The problem with doing crap like that at the federal level is you can walk the entire country off a cliff.

crosspatch on March 29, 2012 at 4:25 PM

It’s called the Pacific Trash Vortex and it’s been extensively studied by marine biologists and other researchers.

And greatly hyped to make it sound much worse than it really is. You can go right into the middle of that zone and not see a single piece of trash.

http://notrickszone.com/2011/01/05/the-great-pacific-garbage-patch-turns-out-to-be-grossly-exaggerated-by-a-factor-of-more-than-200/

crosspatch on March 29, 2012 at 4:27 PM

As a resident of Montgomery County, Maryland…

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on March 29, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Lord have mercy.

forest on March 29, 2012 at 4:27 PM

tThe actual density if the trash is higher than in other areas but it isn’t like you are walking on a solid mat of trash. It means more likely you might find 10 pieces of trash per square mile than 1 piece of trash per square mile.

That is why it isn’t visible from satellite … or the air.

And the debris washed in from the Japan earthquake is going to swamp the trash that is already there by a factor of a million or so.

crosspatch on March 29, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Oh boohoo. So you have to give up your plastic bag. Time for the “socialism!” comments to commence.

ElenaKagan on March 29, 2012 at 3:28 PM

lol, you’re as Clueless as your nom de plume.

What happens the next time, when you have to give up something else? And then something else after that?

Del Dolemonte on March 29, 2012 at 4:34 PM

It’s called the Pacific Trash Vortex and it’s been extensively studied by marine biologists and other researchers.

And greatly hyped to make it sound much worse than it really is. You can go right into the middle of that zone and not see a single piece of trash.

http://notrickszone.com/2011/01/05/the-great-pacific-garbage-patch-turns-out-to-be-grossly-exaggerated-by-a-factor-of-more-than-200/

crosspatch on March 29, 2012 at 4:27 PM

It doesn’t have ‘an address’. It’s the ocean. And most of the dissolving plastic is just under the surface.

Some of the most remote island beaches in the world are covered in plastic waste… it’s not a hyped story by scientists trying to victimize you.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/5208645/Drowning-in-plastic-The-Great-Pacific-Garbage-Patch-is-twice-the-size-of-France.html

bayam on March 29, 2012 at 4:35 PM

Plastic trawled from the ocean… what’s for dinner

http://www.fastcompany.com/1703881/this-is-what-its-like-to-sail-in-the-pacific-trash-vortex

bayam on March 29, 2012 at 4:38 PM

They just passed this garbage in Austin, but the alternative isn’t paper — it’s reusable canvas bags that people have to buy themselves. The city council voted at 2 a.m. in the middle of the night in order to circumvent opposition from people attending the meeting. It goes into effect next year; I can’t wait to see what kind of backlash is in store.

Caiwyn on March 29, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Yep. Even if this was a good idea, can we all agree there are bigger issues. When they are done borrowing money for city ‘art’ and the cops stop beating up people who don’t need to be beat up….then we can discuss the governments role in my grocery carrying selection.

Related note, why is there an exception for drycleaning plastic bags…do those not end up in landfills? And what about poor tourists who don’t bring their canvas bags with them (or a local just forgets them)?

ChrisL on March 29, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Like SF doesn’t have any REAL problems to deal with…

Khun Joe on March 29, 2012 at 4:16 PM

Which ones?

bayam on March 29, 2012 at 4:20 PM

Asian gambling addiction?

Horrible public schools?

High housing prices?

Widespread prostitution?

A horrible public transportation system?

All the homeless folks pushing shopping carts on the streets?

Tell you what, why don’t you tell us why none of those problems are a bigger priority than banning plastic bags.

Get cracking, Sparky!

Del Dolemonte on March 29, 2012 at 4:42 PM

And most of the dissolving plastic is just under the surface

There you go. The plastic is dissolving. That means eventually it will disperse in the vast ocean, like alka-seltzer in a glass of water.

Emperor Norton on March 29, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Plastic trawled from the ocean… what’s for dinner

http://www.fastcompany.com/1703881/this-is-what-its-like-to-sail-in-the-pacific-trash-vortex

bayam on March 29, 2012 at 4:38 PM

There you go. The plastic is dissolving. That means eventually it will disperse in the vast ocean, like alka-seltzer in a glass of water.

Emperor Norton on March 29, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Yes, why don’t you drinking dissolved plastic instead of alka-seltzer sometime- let me know how that works for you.

bayam on March 29, 2012 at 4:48 PM

Some of the most remote island beaches in the world are covered in plastic waste… it’s not a hyped story by scientists trying to victimize you.

bayam on March 29, 2012 at 4:35 PM

The most remote island mass in the world is Hawai’i.

How come that trash hasn’t reached there yet? Your article cites a single beach on the Big Island. That island has at least 2 dozen other beaches, but none of them have been impacted. And your link has absolutely no mention of any of the hundreds of other beaches in Hawai’i that are plastic-free.

And why are you linking to a 3 year old story? Run out of fresher Propaganda?

Del Dolemonte on March 29, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Which ones?

bayam on March 29, 2012 at 4:20 PM

Like the City protecting illegal alien mass murderers

In Luc’s case, it was Vietnam in 2006. He’d just finished serving eight years in state prison for robbing a Chinese restaurant and trying to rob a car electronics store in San Jose, but after a federal judge ordered him kicked out of the country, his homeland refused to issue travel documents.

Six years later, he sits in San Francisco County Jail charged with five counts of murder with special circumstances. The victims – a couple in their 60s, their grown children and their son’s girlfriend – were bludgeoned and attacked with an unspecified sharp weapon, police said.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/27/MNMV1NR2MA.DTL#ixzz1qXc0jkGf

burrata on March 29, 2012 at 4:51 PM

Damn, how am I going to store all the cheap, discounted pink slime I was able to buy last week?

NOMOBO on March 29, 2012 at 4:51 PM

There you go. The plastic is dissolving. That means eventually it will disperse in the vast ocean, like alka-seltzer in a glass of water.

Emperor Norton on March 29, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Yes, why don’t you drinking dissolved plastic instead of alka-seltzer sometime- let me know how that works for you.

bayam on March 29, 2012 at 4:48 PM

Ever drink out of a plastic bottle? Those can leach plastic too. A scientist named de Fusco figured that out.

BTW scientists have also done studies with rats giving them dissolved plastic (PET). No toxic effects were noted.

Del Dolemonte on March 29, 2012 at 4:54 PM

Let’s ban all that plastic that’s stored in San Fran Nancy’s face and the rest of the Hollywood liberals. They got more chemicals behind their piehole’s than all that was discovered in Love Canal.

wizzdumb on March 29, 2012 at 4:55 PM

If reusable is so good why don’t we reuse catheters, needles, toilet paper, and myriad other products. Gee, maybe I just don’t understand germ theory or viral outbreaks or that kind of really above my head stuff.

hip shot on March 29, 2012 at 4:57 PM

Dirty little secret: “Environmentalism” is just an excuse. They just don’t want plastic bags littering the roads and parks. Why else would they stop the ban at grocery bags and not make any effort to cut down on produce bags? That’s why they’re not going after paper, even though it is arguably the less environmental choice. If folks are inconvenienced, just say it’s the environment; that way it won’t look as though we’re punishing the many for the sins of a littering few.

By the way, I’ve visited San Francisco dozens of times a year over the last few years, and the stores I shop at don’t respect the ban (except Whole Foods, which doesn’t have plastic even outside the city).

calbear on March 29, 2012 at 4:57 PM

I use plastic bags to discard my compact fluorescent light bulbs.
It’s the only safe way to deal with the mercury.

MichaelGabriel on March 29, 2012 at 4:59 PM

Asian gambling addiction?

Horrible public schools?

High housing prices?

Widespread prostitution?

A horrible public transportation system?

All the homeless folks pushing shopping carts on the streets?

Del Dolemonte on March 29, 2012 at 4:42 PM

You missed the asian massage parlor slave market.

NapaConservative on March 29, 2012 at 5:07 PM

Government exists to ensure order; it doesn’t exist to solve create every societal ill.

FIFY

Stoic Patriot on March 29, 2012 at 5:12 PM

why don’t you [drink] dissolved plastic instead of alka-seltzer sometime
bayam on March 29, 2012 at 4:48 PM

There’s no way the plastic can get into my water. The plastic is out in the ocean, which nobody drinks anyway because it’s too salty.

I’ve visited San Francisco dozens of times a year over the last few years, and the stores I shop at don’t respect the ban

It’s Chinatown, Jake.

Emperor Norton on March 29, 2012 at 5:14 PM

A lot harder picking up my dog’s crap with a paper bag. What paper bags I do get, I send to Fluke’s bar victims.

crash72 on March 29, 2012 at 5:20 PM

Fred Meyer switched to all paper bags in Portland. I want my plastic bags back. It’s far easier to carry a lot of groceries with plastic bags, not to mention they don’t fall apart in the rain.

netster007x on March 29, 2012 at 5:31 PM

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