Yet another plastic bag ban to save the world

posted at 10:31 am on May 12, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

It’s all the rage today, sweeping the nation from coast to coast. As we reported back in March, municipalities across the country are saving the world, one shopping trip at a time, by banning the use of plastic grocery bags. And now, despite some spectacular failures by others who paved the way, Los Angeles is poised to leap into the fray. But the industry is fighting back this time.

With Los Angeles on the verge of becoming the nation’s largest city to ban single-use bags at supermarkets and convenience stores, the plastics industry is beginning to fight back.

With a series of radio and television commercials along with a website (www.bagtheban.com) the American Progressive Bag Alliance also is lobbying city lawmakers to try to head off the plans to outlaw use of the bags.

“We are engaging in the process of dialogue on lots of different fronts,” said Donna Dempsey, spokeswoman for the alliance. “Each city is different, each municipality is unique and we are trying to design our message for Los Angeles.”

They tried it in DC and wound up losing more than 100 jobs and realized a net drop in disposable income. They passed the same ban in San Francisco in 2007 to cut down on their plastic waste. The net result was that the city’s percentage of plastic waste went from .6 percent to .64 percent.

Los Angeles doesn’t just use plastic bags. They also make them and recycle them. The workers in that industry come forward in the following video to talk about what the ban will mean to them and their families. Give it a look.

But hey… they’re saving the world, right?


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Comment pages: 1 2

“Ordnance bags” or something.

urban elitist on May 12, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Ditty bags. I do think there is more of a penchant for carrying logo tote bags among the left-leaning (and probably, in general, among people who ride public transit and walk to more things than we suburban proles tend to).

AFAIK, 1988 was the first year the NRA offered tote bags with membership. The NRA and R&T bags made many a trip to the beach in their day. They tend to sit around holding stuff in closets now.

J.E. Dyer on May 12, 2012 at 1:12 PM

We have a proposal to do this same “feel good” stuff in our once proudly conservative city. And it’s being pushed by a guy who says he’s a rock ribbed conservative. He’s also up for re-election this year.

I think he has a surprise coming.

dirtseller on May 12, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Jeebus!
The “Amerika Über Alles” crowd is feeling feisty today.
Uh Huh. And GM makes the best cars in the world too I suppose.
Believe it or not, sometimes Euros DO get it right.
(you zealots should travel more often)

who is this clown?

Trying real hard to troll today?

I don’t feel the urge to travel. Thankfully my grandparents were smart enough to leave the cesspool of Europe and come to America.

They struggled and worked hard to make a life for their kids and grankids and beyond, like millions of other Americans (before the dawn of the handout state).

I know that Europeans have a long tradition of being told what to do by their “superiors”, whether it’s a feudal lord or some socialist elitist. We don’t need that here. We don’t need uninspired, compliant sheep who bow to the whims of their current masters, without a single thought in their empty, lazy minds.

Have a nice day, and mind the sheepdog when he herds you in a new direction. Your master may become cross and cut back on your time spent grazing in the grass.

reaganaut on May 12, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Why Not?

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm ?
Get over it, America. Plastic bags are a ubiquitous mess in trash dumps.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on May 12, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Tell you what, how about letting the market decide instead of some nanny-state city councilman or other nanny-state government official.

Why not? Because it’s none of their @#$% business, that’s why not.

AZfederalist on May 12, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Not being “little” nor one of the “little old European ladies”, it made a helluva lot of sense to me. Try it some time. Your world might be a wee bit less expensive.
What is so damn difficult carrying a few empty cloth bags in the trunk of your car?
Just Curious
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on May 12, 2012 at 11:00 AM

If it makes a “helluva a lot of sense” to you, then do it you idiot. Just don’t get off on telling me or a grocery store how to operate.

dirtseller on May 12, 2012 at 1:27 PM

After reading this and the comments, it seems to be that this a good example of people not knowing what they are talking about. Some of which are in government passing miss guided laws. IT’S NOT THE ONE USE PLASTIC BAGS that is the problem BUT the material that they are made from. The current plastic will last over a 100 years in the land fill. There are companies such as Cereplastics that makes organic plastics that break down in about 6 months into usable compose.

jpcpt03 on May 12, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Reusable bags are clearly a growing health issue — an entire girls soccer team brought down violently ill caused by a norovirus passed through a reusable grocery bag:

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_REUSABLE_BAG_VIRUS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-05-09-17-26-27

How many people are going to get sick and even die because of PREVENTABLE viral and bacterial infections spread by reusable bags?

EasyEight on May 12, 2012 at 12:40 PM

See my post at 12:09-the bag wasn’t the issue and it was half the soccer team :)
I’m not sure the germ issue is the way to argue this one anyway. People are worried about cross contamination of meats and chicken but that is also possible just from the shopping cart or the conveyer belt. And if you have a cart full of food where do you put your meat and eggs? They don’t touch any of your other foods?

hopeful on May 12, 2012 at 1:43 PM

… at least they aren’t as arrogant and snotty.

mark81150 on May 12, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Great points. My first encounter with European snobbishness was when I was in college, when I happened to have a few dorm neighbors who were foreign students. One gal was from Italy, and in hindsight I see that she was most likely a socialist/leftist by political persuasion. Her favorite phrase was “Everything is politics.” She fit the typical Left template in that her parents were wealthy, although divorced, and were able to send her to the private Catholic college I attended without benefit of loans or grants, as far as I knew. I think her dad, a psychiatrist, paid her freight for all the years she was there. I’m not sure she even graduated, as she didn’t register for classes one semester, but remained in the dorm just hanging out and doing whatever she was moved to do, which in one case was protesting with a group of lettuce growers a la Caesar Chavez.

But as far as the arrogant snobbishness, she had a lock on it. It was “America this, and America that, and why don’t Americans do like we do [our supposedly morally superior ways of living],” etc. ad nauseam. I finally had enough and told her that if she hated it so much to just go back to Italy and stay there, which shut her up for the next few minutes. I think at some level she realized that the influence of America was what it was and she probably wished that Italy’s was as pervasive.

PatriotGal2257 on May 12, 2012 at 1:47 PM

They look like Obama-voters. Wake up. He hates you.

Send him packing.

Schadenfreude on May 12, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Reusable bags are clearly a growing health issue — an entire girls soccer team brought down violently ill caused by a norovirus passed through a reusable grocery bag:

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_REUSABLE_BAG_VIRUS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-05-09-17-26-27

How many people are going to get sick and even die because of PREVENTABLE viral and bacterial infections spread by reusable bags?

EasyEight on May 12, 2012 at 12:40 PM
——

People too stupid to keep their reusable bags clean deserve to get sick.

Dave Rywall on May 12, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Karl Magnus on May 12, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Shopping in Germany is unfriendly and cumbersome.

Plus, skim a tad.

Plus, what’s wrong with just saving the plastic bags and taking them back to the stores, for recycling.

Plus, the re-used bags, plastic or cloth are loades with germs and other gunk.

Schadenfreude on May 12, 2012 at 1:58 PM

People too stupid to keep their reusable bags clean deserve to get sick.

Dave Rywall on May 12, 2012 at 1:54 PM

I agree but most of them are lefties.

Schadenfreude on May 12, 2012 at 1:59 PM

People too stupid to keep their reusable bags clean deserve to get sick.

Dave Rywall on May 12, 2012 at 1:54 PM

… and how many resources are used to wash those bags compared to just using disposable plastic bags.

As far as not breaking down, try putting one of those bags in the sun for a few months, or in extreme heat (a’la Arizona). They turn to tatters pretty quickly.

AZfederalist on May 12, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Plus, what’s wrong with just saving the plastic bags and taking them back to the stores, for recycling.

Schadenfreude on May 12, 2012 at 1:58 PM

Or — here’s a stroke of brilliance, how did I ever think of this — how about putting them in one’s own recycling bin (barrel, tub, or whatever you have)? The reason that that can be done is that — wow, new flash — we already have plastic-recycling businesses all over America.

At any rate, not everything people are indignant about is actually a “problem.”

J.E. Dyer on May 12, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Our city council is comprised nearly 100% of libtards. These are the same cretins who boycott business with Arizona because Arizona is taking an affirmative step in controlling their borders (except for the all electricity LA buys from AZ – typical liberal hypocrites)

These are the same libtards that are pushing to ensure illegals get their impounded cars back sooner than citizen for serious infractions.

These are the same libtards that push businesses out with their targeted tax collection schemes.

These are the same libtards that hike utility fees in an illegal scheme to collect more taxes for the general fund.

LA is just really West Chicago at this point because the corruption is so bad. I want out.

LA Conservative on May 12, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Guys, you’re hurting my feelings!/

Not a one of you thought my catfish recipe looked tasty?

:-(

cane_loader on May 12, 2012 at 2:13 PM

cane_loader on May 12, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Looks great. I don’t cook. When we got married, I got to keep the books, Mrs. Federalist feeds us. It’s better for everyone that way.

AZfederalist on May 12, 2012 at 2:15 PM

People too stupid to keep their reusable bags clean deserve to get sick.

Dave Rywall on May 12, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Oooh, you must be one of those tolerant liberals I keep hearing about but have never met. So I presume you also think people stupid enough to get AIDS deserve to die, right?

Fenris on May 12, 2012 at 2:26 PM

People too stupid to keep their reusable bags clean deserve to get sick.

Dave Rywall on May 12, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Oooh, you must be one of those tolerant liberals I keep hearing about but have never met. So I presume you also think people stupid enough to get AIDS deserve to die, right?

Fenris on May 12, 2012 at 2:26 PM
———

We’re talking about washing out a shopping bag you dumb f*ck.

Dave Rywall on May 12, 2012 at 2:28 PM

PatriotGal2257 on May 12, 2012 at 1:47 PM

PatriotGal, your story about the Italian student reminded me that one of the least recycled areas of the planet is southern Italy. I lived there for 3.5 years, and you would not believe the trash situation.

There was no street-to-street pick-up in the area I lived in (a suburb of Naples), so what you did was bag up your trash and throw it on the local illegal trash heap when it was dark. (I went to work around 5 AM, so that was convenient.) Maybe once a month, the heap was cleared out by someone. I never knew who. Whenever I went to toss a bag, there were always people picking over the trash, using their flashlights in the dark.

In the city there were big dumpsters, which always had to be overflowing with trash before anything was done about them. City workers kept the big market areas and high-dollar shopping streets downtown cleared of trash, along with the tourist attractions, but you didn’t have to go very far out before you started seeing the dumpsters piled high with foul-smelling garbage and surrounded by bags heaped on top of each other on the ground.

The local beaches were grotesque, especially in the summer, when everyone took the month of August off. There was no trash pick-up at all, anywhere, in August, so that was the month when trash fires burned all over the area, turning the air a delightful shade of sepia. You might want desperately to sleep with your windows open, but the smell and ash from the fires were too much.

Recycling? Oh, they had recycling. Only the big industrial businesses used it. If you wanted to recycle your plastic bottles of water, which came in a handly 2-liter size and which I bought by the case because you didn’t want to drink the tap water, you were out of luck.

Northern Italy is a different world, as of course are Germany, the Netherlands, and other northern European nations. But Greece has a major trash problem, as do large swaths of southern Spain and southern France. In the 1990s, Eastern Europe had never heard of recycling and had barely heard of orderly trash handling. People just threw their trash along the roads in Czech Republic and Hungary — the stuff you don’t see as a tourist or on “House Hunters International.”

Until they get southern Europe cleaned up, I don’t want to hear from Europeans about trash in the USA. I’ve never seen any place in America as blighted by trash as southern Italy. The big NYC garbage strike a while back may have come close.

J.E. Dyer on May 12, 2012 at 2:33 PM

People too stupid to keep their reusable bags clean deserve to get sick.

Dave Rywall on May 12, 2012 at 1:54 PM

… and how many resources are used to wash those bags compared to just using disposable plastic bags.

As far as not breaking down, try putting one of those bags in the sun for a few months, or in extreme heat (a’la Arizona). They turn to tatters pretty quickly.

AZfederalist on May 12, 2012 at 2:05 PM
———

Wow, so now it takes an enormous amount of resources to wash out a shopping bag.
Let me repeat: to wash out a f*cking shopping bag.

You clearly know nothing whatsoever about how plastic breaks down over time.
Go look up what a nurdle is so you don’t type in things that make you look like a fool.

Dave Rywall on May 12, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Somebody up thread said plastic bags are a problem in the landfills because they last a hundred years and they make degradable ones that will break down in 6 months.

Clue me in. Do we have a world shortage of compost that we need to mine our landfills every few years so we can sprinkle some on our tomato beds? Seriously, who cares if anything breaks down in a landfill? It’s buried. Are people under the impression that when stuff breaks down in a landfill, the molecules go elsewhere and a big hollow hole develops that we can dig out again to put more trash in? The magical evaporating trash pile? A styrofoam coffee cup will still be in there in pristine shape a 1000 years from now, so who cares what newspapers or bin liners do in there?

Allahs vulva on May 12, 2012 at 2:49 PM

We’re talking about washing out a shopping bag you dumb f*ck.

Dave Rywall on May 12, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Nice.

Ban this child once and for all, and let him work out his issues in private.

Dreadnought on May 12, 2012 at 2:59 PM

My local big name grocery store has recycling for plastic bags with receptacles conveniently located by the doors, just gotta remember to bring the bags, silly.

But where did this obsession with the idea that we have to save the planet come from and who decided that something like plastic bags is the culprit that will do us in? Nothing wrong with keeping the place tidy and smelling nice, but I think the earth and its resources were put here for us to use in our most creative or not-so-creative ways.

Finally, my silly suggestion of the day which is totally, logistically not doable just about everywhere: wouldn’t it be great if we had a convenient way of transporting our trash to the calderas of gently active volcanoes and dumping it into the boiling lava, thus transforming it back into it’s basic mineral and chemical elements? I mean, you can’t make the composition of lava any more dangerous, can ya?

stukinIL4now on May 12, 2012 at 3:12 PM

What will we do with the dog poop?

scboy on May 12, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Finally, my silly suggestion of the day which is totally, logistically not doable just about everywhere: wouldn’t it be great if we had a convenient way of transporting our trash to the calderas of gently active volcanoes and dumping it into the boiling lava, thus transforming it back into it’s basic mineral and chemical elements? I mean, you can’t make the composition of lava any more dangerous, can ya?

stukinIL4now on May 12, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Sounds like a job for a cruise missile. They’re not that expensive anymore.

(I’m having fun with this thread, but will need to leave the building soon.)

J.E. Dyer on May 12, 2012 at 3:17 PM

Believe it or not, sometimes Euros DO get it right.
(you zealots should travel more often)
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on May 12, 2012 at 11:49 AM

you are the ignorant one, I am born and raised French and ‘the Euros’ do get it wrong a lot of the time when it comes to policies of all sorts…the only thing worth it there is the history and architecture, yes, it’s all very aesthetic and pretty but everything else so wrong in terms of taxes, politics and policies…

jimver on May 12, 2012 at 3:27 PM

We’re talking about washing out a shopping bag you dumb f*ck.

Dave Rywall on May 12, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Yes, I can see you are clearly a tolerant liberal. Congratulations on representing your side so accurately.

Fenris on May 12, 2012 at 3:33 PM

If it’s good and it works well and makes life better, liberals want to ban it.

Axion on May 12, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Is it just me or do the people in the vid look a tad obese to you, too. Maybe they should ask Mooch for some healthy eating tips.

Kissmygrits on May 12, 2012 at 3:44 PM

This is so stupid. We use our plastic bags over and over again. We use them for trash bags on small waste cans. We use them to carry all kinds of stuff for all kinds of occasions. They are being used a million times over and you see them being used over and over out in public.

There has been no talk of banning them around my area as far as I know, but I’m going to try to buy some in a case or two… and if they ban them I will use them to take to the grocery stores and carry our groceries! I refuse to buy any of those stupid cloth bags!

How much energy is wasted making cloth bags? How much fuel is wasted in the transportation of the cloth bags? What kind of chemicals go into the dies? How often do they have to be washed? Isn’t that a waste of water and energy right there?

JellyToast on May 12, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Wow, so now it takes an enormous amount of resources to wash out a shopping bag.
Let me repeat: to wash out a f*cking shopping bag.

You clearly know nothing whatsoever about how plastic breaks down over time.
Go look up what a nurdle is so you don’t type in things that make you look like a fool.

Dave Rywall on May 12, 2012 at 2:34 PM

It actually does take resources to wash out those vinyl or canvas bags. Imagine if everyone, every time they went shopping, came home, turned on the water in the kitchen sink until it was warm, sprayed 409 in the bag, and wiped it down with a wet sponge and then rinsed it enough to kill all the possible bacteria. In places where water shortages are common, like the west, this would be a huge drain on something that is already limited. Also, you are introducing a lot more chemicals into the water cycle. Versus landfill space for disposable bags which might be more plentiful, it’s a tradeoff always, which people sometimes fail to understand.

rose-of-sharon on May 12, 2012 at 3:55 PM

My 2 cents:

Yesterday there was a local news report about a woman who caught some disease from germs and bacteria from her reusable cloth grocery bag.

I can see how the reusables are good for carrying dry goods, but anyone putting vegetables, fruit or wrapped meat (which easily leaks) into one of these reusables is taking a great health risk.

Red State State of Mind on May 12, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Is it just me or do the people in the vid look a tad obese to you, too. Maybe they should ask Mooch for some healthy eating tips.

Kissmygrits on May 12, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Moochie, who had the White House kitchen invent the Maine Lobster and Butter Milkshake? I don’t think so.

slickwillie2001 on May 12, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Wow, so now it takes an enormous amount of resources to wash out a shopping bag.
Let me repeat: to wash out a f*cking shopping bag.

You clearly know nothing whatsoever about how plastic breaks down over time.
Go look up what a nurdle is so you don’t type in things that make you look like a fool.

Dave Rywall on May 12, 2012 at 2:34 PM

yes, idiot, all those detergents (otherwise called surfactants) mostly based on phosphates, petroleum, and Chlorine and that are used to clean your f…ing reusable bags (to quote from classy you) on a daily basis, guess what, they’re not good for environment either, or are they now…

jimver on May 12, 2012 at 4:10 PM

We’re talking about washing out a shopping bag you dumb f*ck.

Dave Rywall on May 12, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Dave, be nice. You’re not at home talking to your mom.

arnold ziffel on May 12, 2012 at 4:26 PM

Guys, you’re hurting my feelings!/

Not a one of you thought my catfish recipe looked tasty?

:-(

cane_loader on May 12, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Yes, I did! In fact, I copied it (and your additional posts about it) and put it in my recipe file on the computer.

Now, you should know that this dish had to sound VERY tasty by the sheer fact that I neither particularly like fish nor am I adept at cooking it, so I almost never do.

But the husband likes catfish, and this sounded so good (and do-able) that I copied it to give it a try.

Tyvm!

Alana on May 12, 2012 at 4:47 PM

P.S. It’s filed as “Cane Loader’s Catfish Recipe.” lol

Alana on May 12, 2012 at 4:48 PM

As to the topic at hand, I take the plastic bags back to the grocery store and put them in the recycle bin.

Is there something so horrible about that?

Recycling, though, has cost me a lot of time, effort, and even money. First, I had to make a study of exactly what and where the city will take, and what they will not.

Then, unlike when I was younger, I now have two sets of dishes to wash every day: The ones we use, and then washing the cans and jars and aluminum foil and so forth to go into recycling. Takes MY water and effort to do that.

Recycling means I now have to spend time washing trash. (Not that they would fine me or anything; I’m just trying to be a good citizen.)

But I’m pretty convinced that these requirements for clean recycling items (though I’m not obsessive; I just get most of the food out) completely negates any environment good the recycling itself produces.

Plus, I have this sneaking suspicion that half of it gets thrown out by the recycling center, at times when it’s impossible or too costly for them to move it on.

Alana on May 12, 2012 at 4:58 PM

With some headlines, you already know they’re talking about the northeast or west coast without even reading the story.

cajunpatriot on May 12, 2012 at 5:04 PM

I am reading this while vacationing in UK and everyone uses disposable bags which is opposite to how it was ten years ago when you always carried string shopping bags with you because plastic bags were never available!

Silverbelle on May 12, 2012 at 5:04 PM

Los Angeles has a terminal case of stupidity. Just walk away. The last conservatives to leave will turn out the lights.

ConservativeLA on May 12, 2012 at 5:12 PM

You clearly know nothing whatsoever about how plastic breaks down over time.
Go look up what a nurdle is so you don’t type in things that make you look like a fool.

Dave Rywall on May 12, 2012 at 2:34 PM

I know I just don’t have that superior intellect that you, the liberal, possess; I am but a simple rocket scientist (for real in my day job). However, despite that, I apparently have experience that you, in your vaunted ivory towers do not.

You see, we live in the desert of Arizona where the temperatures attain 100 degrees F for sustained periods and a high humidity day is 20%. Why am I saying this? Because storage environment is an important thing. You see, we’ve stored items in our non-temperature controlled storage shed in those dastardly plastic grocery bags that take 1000′s of years to degrade. Funny thing, after about 3 to 5 years in this environment, those horribly non-decomposing plastic bags turn to ribbons and shatter to dust when you try to move them. That hardly seems to make those bags an environmental disaster.

I realize that’s not as interesting as reading about all of the horrors of non-degradable plastic that Greenpeace puts out, but reality seldom is.

AZfederalist on May 12, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Oh yeah:

cane_loader’s Cajun catfish recipe SERVES TWO.

cane_loader on May 12, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Or one Cajun, right?

Gonna have to try this recipe. The addition of the mustard is an angle I’d not considered before.

Del Dolemonte on May 12, 2012 at 5:34 PM

J.E. Dyer on May 12, 2012 at 2:33 PM

J.E. Dyer, your recollections about trash management (and lack thereof) in southern Italy and in other parts of Europe are amazing, and as you say, hard to believe for us here in the U.S. My Italian dorm neighbor happened to be from Bologna. I don’t know what that city is like, having never been there, but about a decade ago, my hubby and I and some friends got to visit Rome, Florence, Assisi and Venice.

We took a train to Venice, and when we got there, let’s just say I was very concerned that the driver on the water taxi made damn sure he got our luggage safely in the boat and did not let it slip out of his hands so that it ended up in the canal. The most prominent and palpable smell was garbage and/or sewage emanating from the canals. Later, one of the hotel desk clerks mentioned that it used to be worse. Uh, huh. Right.

I happen to be of Italian descent myself on my dad’s side, and my grandparents were from Calabria and Sicily, although that’s pretty much the extent of it — I don’t know what region or cities they were from. I was curious to find out as long as we were over there, but another friend of ours who was raised in Sardinia and who knew the areas very well told me that if I really wanted to explore my ancestry, I’d need an advocate of some kind to introduce me, as the citizens were naturally suspicious and apparently didn’t take to strangers, particularly Americans, asking what were to them “personal” questions. In any case, I’m glad they emigrated here!

PatriotGal2257 on May 12, 2012 at 6:09 PM

snob much?

Look,.. why, why… do people like you, think that some particular euro habit is so superior, that it has to be forced on those provincial Americans, no matter how much they simply don’t want to do it?

Would you be so quick to take an American habit which is better, and force it on the Europeans even if they just didn’t want it?

mark81150 on May 12, 2012 at 12:50 PM

All that you said sums up everything I feel on this issue.
Great job.
I’ve met many Europeans who have come here to live.
There’s a reason they leave.
I’ve even known the ones who think it’s so great over there compared to here, & yet, they are trying to live & work HERE.
Gee, I wonder why that is?

Badger40 on May 12, 2012 at 6:14 PM

If you saw the Maui recycling dump you might think twice about plastic bags.

On the other hand 500 plastic grocery store bags fit into a neat little box.
Whereas, 500 paper bags fit into 2 large paper bales.
Plastic bags take up less space on pallets, in warehouses, and on containers.
Plastic weighs less than paper which results in lower fuel cost and fuel consumption.
Fewer truckloads ship more product, plastic takes up less space in store rooms, and at the store checkout.
The added cost of paper is added to the price of consumer products.

The law of unintended consequences.

kregg on May 12, 2012 at 7:10 PM

Talk about the law of unintended consequences.

I use the plastic bags form the store for a great many things.

Now they are trying to make the illegal or politically incorrect.

So what do I do?

I buy plastic bags and carry on.

You think maybe someone should tell the legislature?

enginemike on May 12, 2012 at 7:55 PM

Some folks just don’t see that there’s a huge difference between saying “People should’t do ___” or “I wish people wouldn’t do ___” and “We should ban ___”.

imshocked on May 12, 2012 at 8:20 PM

But that uses electricity and possibly natural gas.

We cant have that now.

Spliff Menendez on May 12, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Where will people us for their dog poop? Well probably what they did before plastic bags, just leave it where it dropped.

Corky Boyd on May 12, 2012 at 9:11 PM

Running reusable bags through wash/dry cycle is worse for environment than recyclable plastic bags by a long shot. Green Fail.

Germany is at risk of breaking their power grid next winter because of their green initiatives. More Green Fail.

Adjoran on May 12, 2012 at 9:19 PM

Until they get southern Europe cleaned up, I don’t want to hear from Europeans about trash in the USA. I’ve never seen any place in America as blighted by trash as southern Italy. The big NYC garbage strike a while back may have come close.

J.E. Dyer on May 12, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Naples is a giant dumpster, despite the charm of the city itself, their public sanitation is appalling, agree with you there. Northern Italy by comparison is like an entirely different country, and then tourist towns like Venice and Florence suffer greatly from the tourist hordes’ bad habits and have them to blame (at least partially) for their not so stellar general state of cleanliness, though Venice is getting better and better at it (lots of EU funds went into preserving the town, so naturally some go into keeping it clean too), while the Florence public sanitation situation is actually degrading…But I disagree with you about NYC, the poignant garbage odors in summer time in NYC beat by far all my unpleasant olfactive experiences in Italy….

jimver on May 12, 2012 at 9:27 PM

They just passed a plastic bag ban here in Austin. I have always carried my own canvas bags with me to shopping trips, but I am not happy about this. There are always times where you forget your reusable bags. In that case, I normally get the plastic bags and just reuse them later. I think this will hurt some Austin businesses. I live on the city line. If I am in the car and forgot my bags, then I will shop outside city limits.

bitsy on May 12, 2012 at 9:42 PM

Here’s a question: Where do reusable eco bags come from? Heaven?

No, they come from factories. Factories use energy. When the bags get smelly and dirty we will throw them away, into the landfill. Then we will have to buy more.

So where again is the eco savings?

Or, as a poster said, is it all about another tax?

PattyJ on May 12, 2012 at 9:54 PM

Believe it or not, sometimes Euros DO get it right.
(you zealots should travel more often)
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on May 12, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Such as what?

Mimzey on May 12, 2012 at 10:13 PM

I burn ‘em..along with most everything else I don’t want anymore. Works like a charm and takes up no space.

Mimzey on May 12, 2012 at 10:20 PM

Just for the record, this is perhaps one of the only enviro-fetish I can get on board with. Why is it terribly unreasonable to go back to ye’olde paper bag? It is recyclable, whatever jobs are lost in plastics can be made up for in logging and paper mills. Plastic bags are so cheap they are abused, I get 13 items in a store and get 11 bags to take them home in, seriously, when said items could easily fit in 4!
-snip-
Archimedes on May 12, 2012 at 11:44 AM

For me, it depends on where I have to take my purchases. Now that I live in a high-rise apartment building, I like the handles of plastic bags. Otherwise, paper bags have their uses, and yes, they can hold more.

In point of fact, I like having the choice of deciding for myself which of the three options meets my needs: it should not be a government-imposed solution. (And yes, I do reuse and/or recycle my disposable plastic bags.)

Kevin K. on May 12, 2012 at 10:23 PM

The current plastic will last over a 100 years in the land fill. There are companies such as Cereplastics that makes organic plastics that break down in about 6 months into usable compose.

jpcpt03 on May 12, 2012 at 1:35 PM

So what? So what?!

Hey.. how long does a ceramic pot last in a landfill? In a local museum, they have a cut out of a well they found someplace, I forget where. It is like 50 feet deep. Big exhibit. They show the layers of trash that people were throwing down this well for like a hundred years or so. All this stuff… pots, metal.. all kinds of trash but not a single plastic bag that I remember. Museums have items that are hundreds, some thousands of years old… common every day things that people used to use. I don’t remember seeing any plastic bags.
By the way… how long have plastic bags been in existence? How do they know for sure they will last a hundred years in a pile of dirt anyway? But so what if it does? The oil’s been in the ground for thousands of years. Big deal.. we’re just putting back into the ground what we took out!
Don’t people ever think about what they are actually saying?

JellyToast on May 12, 2012 at 10:32 PM

They just passed a plastic bag ban here in Austin. I have always carried my own canvas bags with me to shopping trips, but I am not happy about this. There are always times where you forget your reusable bags. In that case, I normally get the plastic bags and just reuse them later. I think this will hurt some Austin businesses. I live on the city line. If I am in the car and forgot my bags, then I will shop outside city limits.

bitsy on May 12, 2012 at 9:42 PM

Ah, Austin – “Moscow on the Colorado” – home of the Horns and the nation’s highest percentage of Maoist douchebags.

Adjoran on May 12, 2012 at 10:50 PM

Until they get southern Europe cleaned up, I don’t want to hear from Europeans about trash in the USA. I’ve never seen any place in America as blighted by trash as southern Italy. The big NYC garbage strike a while back may have come close.

J.E. Dyer on May 12, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Oh yes, indeed. I used to fly with the US Navy. You could smell Naples from 50 miles out to sea on the approach. It was the same with Rota, Spain and the entire Bay of Cadiz. The smell was just unbelievable and the fact that, on a warm and sunny day you could smell it so far out was amazing.

TKindred on May 13, 2012 at 12:17 AM

What will we do with the dog poop?

scboy on May 12, 2012 at 3:13 PM

…give it to Dave Ryrot…he’ll wash it out!

KOOLAID2 on May 13, 2012 at 1:11 AM

I use the plastic bags to hold cat poop when scooping litter.

Apparently in DRywall world I need to use a separate trash bag for each one. Using each bag once, using thicker bags, and rewashing shopping bags while throwing more plastic into the landfill will help everyone.

Maybe I can keep my disposable shopping bags if I promise to waste plastic and throw it away?

I promise to increase my waste just as you desire… is that good enough? Or do I need to both increase my waste, and be inconvenienced while doing so?

How much extra waste to I need to provide to make you happy? Or is only the inconvenience what makes you happy?

Oh, sorry, that probably didn’t convince you.

How much do I need to waste to make you happy you dumb f**k?

Better? I’m assuming you find the swearing and insults to be persuasive somehow… right? Or are they only supposed to be persuasive when you use them?

I get that you’re liberal, so the “it is only ok when I do it” argument is common… is that the case Dave?

Do you find swearing to carry an argument?

Sorry, does a dumb f*ck like you find swearing to carry an argument?

gekkobear on May 13, 2012 at 3:40 AM

Plus, I have this sneaking suspicion that half of it gets thrown out by the recycling center, at times when it’s impossible or too costly for them to move it on.

Alana on May 12, 2012 at 4:58 PM

Most of these posts are pretty thoughtful,.. but I have to tell you one thing you may not know, but Alana has suspicions on.

Working in the grocery industry so long, long enough to have been there when paper was the only option, and they came in 50lb 25lb 10lb. 5lb and 4lb sized bags…

Till paper was the second option for those who hated plastic.. and the national grocery chain I workerd for collected recycle barrels of plastic bags,,

We emptied them, took the huge bags of gathered plastic bags and put them on the loading dock to be sent back to the warehouse to be put in a trailer to end up at a recycling center..

the dirty secret?

Not always, when there was an empty trailer on the dock waiting to go back.. yeah, we’d through it in for recycle.. but if there wasn’t that day? We had to clean the dock every day, so any recycle bag bundles were simply put in the regular trash compacter dumpster, along with all the other landfill trash, like produce trimmings too big for the industrial garbage disposal, rotten produce, dirty meat, and deli dept. packing materials,.. you name it..

nearly half the bags folks brought in to recycle, got sent to a landfill anyway.. because the staff didn’t care that much, and it was in the way when we didn’t have a trailer empty and going back.

Just so you know, recycling sometimes breaks down in the doing.. people are people, and will take the easy out as often as not. I confess I did that too on occasion, till my conscience started to bother me on it.. not because I believed in recycling very much… it just seemed to be a broken trust, dishonest, so I avoided doing that as much as I could.. but sometimes the orders came from higher up to empty the dock.. and my kids had to eat, so..

just so you know how that often ends up working. We did reycle tons of cardboard, but mostly because it got money for the company, plastic didn’t.

mark81150 on May 13, 2012 at 6:55 AM

oh btw.. I use them to pick up puppy poop too.

mark81150 on May 13, 2012 at 6:57 AM

Don’t these damn democrats know that marine life thrive off of our plastics. Cut open any fish and you’ll find plastic bags, bic lighters, and dog whistles. Man has just added another food source for these poor fishes, and birds too! Why can’t demorats understand this simple fact?

richardporter on May 13, 2012 at 8:36 AM

Germany is at risk of breaking their power grid next winter because of their green initiatives. More Green Fail.

Adjoran on May 12, 2012 at 9:19 PM

They’ll be marching into France AGAIN to gain access to their nuke plants..

Caper29 on May 13, 2012 at 8:55 AM

They’ll be marching into France AGAIN to gain access to their nuke plants..

Caper29 on May 13, 2012 at 8:55 AM

At the rate the EU is collapsing, before long, German energy will be supplied by Greeks, Spaniards and Frenchmen on treadmills hooked to the power grid.

cane_loader on May 13, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Every single grocery bag I get is used a second time. Most paper bags I get rip before I get to the door. Plastic please, not paper.

RutRoh on May 13, 2012 at 10:01 AM

Dave Rywall on May 12, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Can someone finally ban this turd? He’s been around a few years too many.

Dunedainn on May 13, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Two points:

1) Reusable bags create a public health problem. There was a story last week about a norovirus outbreak traced to a reusable bag…this is what happens when you can’t dispose of a bag that is used to contain uncooked food.

2) If Romney wanted to have a little fun, he should do free bag giveaways in LA if this passes. It would be hilarious to see thousands of Angelenos here walking around with Romney bags.

alflauren on May 13, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Why are Americans so opposed to recycling?
If this country had limited space for trash dumps, we would all be re-cycling everything.
Geeesh …
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on May 13, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Remember when plastic bags WERE the more environmentally-friendly alternative? Remember when everyone was complaining that paper bags were killing too many trees and it was easier to recycle the plastic bags?

TMOverbeck on May 13, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Guys, you’re hurting my feelings!/

Not a one of you thought my catfish recipe looked tasty?

:-(

cane_loader on May 12, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Yes, I did! In fact, I copied it (and your additional posts about it) and put it in my recipe file on the computer.

Now, you should know that this dish had to sound VERY tasty by the sheer fact that I neither particularly like fish nor am I adept at cooking it, so I almost never do.

But the husband likes catfish, and this sounded so good (and do-able) that I copied it to give it a try.

Tyvm!

Alana on May 12, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Or one Cajun, right?

Gonna have to try this recipe. The addition of the mustard is an angle I’d not considered before.

Del Dolemonte on May 12, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Well, it may look a little weird using ketchup and mustard, but Cajun-fried catfish is NOT Creole (New Orleans) catfish.

The recipe I gave y’all, including marinating is mustard, is a very common way we fix catfish, especially at the camp after a good catch!

“cane_loader’s catfish” (upthread on page one) is legit!

And so tasty, I’m fixin’ to cook it right now. Made myself hungry for my own recipe! :-)

cane

cane_loader on May 13, 2012 at 10:21 PM

Strange. I looked for this in teh LATimes but I could find nothing.

There’s a big problem with reusable grocery bags — they can harbor some pretty nasty germs.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/reusable-grocery-bag-the-culprit-in-norovirus-outbreak-among-beaverton-soccer-players/2012/05/09/gIQApPkkDU_story.html

unclesmrgol on May 14, 2012 at 2:07 AM

Why are Americans so opposed to recycling?
If this country had limited space for trash dumps, we would all be re-cycling everything.
Geeesh …
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on May 13, 2012 at 11:51 AM

I’m not opposed to recycling — but I have several cats and my main use for those grocery bags is to containerize cat doo and the coagulated masses from the clumpable litter I use. The numbers that the anti-recycle-baggers use indicate that I should be using about three thousand bags per year — but I probably get 8 bags a week — which translates to about 400 per year. I know that’s right because pretty often, I have to use the same bag morning and evening….

Here in Culver City, every trash truck is dumped on the floor of a facility and the workers pull out recyclables people accidentally put in their regular trash.

And the reverse happens for the recycle trucks — they get dumped on the floor and the workers pull out non-recyclables that people accidentally put in their recycle trash.

I’m pretty careful about recycling, but if they take away my plastic grocery bags, I’ll just get some other (probably thicker) plastic bags and use them instead. Then we’ll be worse than we started.

unclesmrgol on May 14, 2012 at 2:16 AM

Wow, so now it takes an enormous amount of resources to wash out a shopping bag.
Let me repeat: to wash out a f*cking shopping bag.

You clearly know nothing whatsoever about how plastic breaks down over time.
Go look up what a nurdle is so you don’t type in things that make you look like a fool.

Dave Rywall on May 12, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Not everybody had gotten the word about how filthy a reusable bag can get. And not everybody has the ability to keep enough of them around between trips to the laundromat.

unclesmrgol on May 14, 2012 at 2:18 AM

A) Bag bans are anti-freedom and short sighted. As mentioned, they are used later for trash, storage, lunches, transport, pet pick-up. I would say that is ultimate voluntary recycling potential.
B) We have a cut-rate store around here that charges for bags to cut costs. It’s their and their customers choice. No laws involved.
C) Why the hell do stores have their clerks using so many bags for so few items? You buy 6 items in many groceries it’s a good chance you will get 2-3 bags. Either the bags are cheap and weak or there is some fear about mixing food and non-food or hot and cold items in the same bag. That’s gotta hurt profit.

ironked on May 14, 2012 at 8:09 AM

Avengers 2 plot: Thanos comes to Earth out of revenge to destroy all life on Earth. His plot? He opens a grocery store handing out free plastic bags with every purchase. The avengers take thing into their own hands when they petition Congress ban plastice bags in a constitutional amendment and the world is saved!

jeffn21 on May 14, 2012 at 9:50 AM

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