Friday, June 15, 2012

Plastic grocery bag ban contemplated

In a never ending effort to modify our behavior in the name of saving the environment, there is an effort afoot to ban single-use plastic grocery bags. Arguments for doing this:

1) Hawaii and several California cities did it, including Los Angeles. At the same time, to encourage multiple-use grocery bags, the L.A. city council voted to put a 10-cent fee on each paper bag you use. See:

2) The bags foul the environment and not biodegradable, although there are some biodegradable formulations being tested.

3) Birds and sea creatures ingest them, resulting in millions of deaths.

Vote in our poll on this issue at the right.

Here is the form letter that legislators are receiving on this issue:
Single-use plastic bags represent one of the greatest environmental
catastrophes of our generation. It is estimated that 60-80% of all
debris in the ocean is land-based plastic. Plastics take hundreds of
years to break down at sea and most types never truly biodegrade. 
Plastic bags are so aerodynamic that even when properly disposed of,
they can still blow away and become litter. They easily escape from
garbage trucks, landfills, boats, and often average consumers' hands.
Not only a visible eyesore, plastic bags are dangerous to wildlife.
They are often mistaken for food by marine mammals and seabirds. The
United Nations estimates that plastic bags kill 1 billion animals per
year. These animals suffer a painful death as the plastic wraps around
their intestines or they choke to death. 
I urge you to support the Plastic Bag Ban, S.353/H.1990. This important
bill would ban the distribution of plastic checkout bags in larger
Laws of this type have been enacted around the world and on every
continent, including Nantucket (over 20 years ago, the first in the
United States), San Francisco, Westport, Connecticut, Edmonds,
Washington, Los Angeles County, CA, Brownsville, Texas; Bethel, Alaska,
North Carolina's Outerbanks Region, Portland, Oregon; Seattle,
Washington, San Jose, California, 30 rural villages in Alaska, and many
cities throughout Canada.  Countries that have banned or restricted
them include: China,  Israel, Belgium, Italy, Ireland, Hong Kong,
Taiwan, Singapore, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Thailand,
several states in India, three states and territories of Australia,
Paris, Mexico City, Rajasthan (India), Sikkim (India), Taiwan,
Singapore, Bangladesh, Malawi, Germany, Sweden, Paris, Mexico City, and
three states/territories of Australia.


  1. Make more awareness and access to reusable 'green' bags. Everything cannot be banned. To much control. If I wanted popcorn or soda or a cigarette, I should be able to make my own decision. Plastic bags are dangerous, but good for picking up my dog's poop!

  2. 2things, dog "poop" can be picked up with the newspaper bags or special ones they sell for that purpose. I think the plastic grocery bag should be done away with. Re-usable bags are so easy. You can put more items in them - I love it when they put 2 items in the plastic bag, and they are easy to transport. There are other options.

  3. If people want to pollute their bodies w/ soda - I agree, it's their choice. But the use of a product, like plastic grocery bags, which (in the aggregate) pollute the environment that we all share tremendously, should be reconsidered - especially when a more suitable alternative already exists (i.e., eco-friendly "green" bags"). I don't understand why it's not considered "conservative" to want to conserve the environment. It shouldn't be an issue beholden to liberals or conservatives - it affects us all and especially future generations. It's the right thing to do.

  4. Well you know it all greenies are why we have plastic. You got paper bags banned to save trees which are renewable! Now you don't want either. How many of those nasty canvas bags am I supposed to carry around every time I go to the store just in case I buy something? Ridiculous! Mind your own business! This country is getting ridiculous with big brother and eco-nuts wanting to ban and legislate/tax everything they can think of! How many more companies and people are you willing to ruin to create your fantasy world of perfection according to your rules?!

    1. Oh, poo....from plastic to bombastic. Rule your own world, George, and let our grandchildren contemplate fewer landfills with tons of 'convenience'....

  5. George, I can't use these canvass bags because they carry many more germs than paper and plastic. I have decided not to buy food at the grocery store. I am going to quit my job, donate my life savings to the government, convert to Catholicism, become a nun a be supported by the Church who will feed me without my having to shop.

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. Sister John LynetteJune 16, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    Betty, I am a nun. Are you serious?

  8. Plastic is perhaps one of the worst things invented by man. We now know that there are substances in it that do get into our bodies and once there never leave, causing harm. A recent example of this are substances in plastic banned in products for years in Europe. We are just beginning to see BPA free plastic products here. BPA's in plastic are now known to be endocrine disruptors and especially unhealthy for females. We know that plastic takes thousands of years to biodegrade. I remember a few years ago when scientific evidence revealed we should not be using plastic in microwaves, not even plastic wrap over dishes. There truly seems to be an important message in all this. I will not be sad to see plastic bags go. Biodegradable should be the new industrial design bandwagon!!!

  9. Perhaps one of the worst things invented by man? It changed our lives in so many positive ways. It goes down with Gates as one of those things that had such a profound and positive effect on humanity. I like many others worry about what it does to the environment but do so much respect what it has done for mankind.

  10. Carl Johansen would state that banning plastic bags will help to save our universe from all of the continuing pollution from there disposal. The plastic just floating around in the oceans of the world is staggering. The environmental problems that come about from mammals and fish ingesting them has a long time effect on the habitat this life form needs to survive.

    As every one is aware California has a bann on Plastic.

    Here in Sandwich many have bought cloth baggs to transport food goods, some are washable and others are not.

    My Sister InLaw has come up with pattern to make rewashable food bags from worn, but good t shirts. We had a couple come in the mail today and she just may be onto starting a small cottage business from her idea.

    So give a hoot and do not pollute, The next generation will appreciate the effort to halp save our planet from this polluter

  11. I see everyone wants to "save" the next generation from trash. That's great. I am hoping you are on the same bandwagon to save our grandchildren from USA's massive debt too. It's just as important. Stop the Gov't from giving the money away.. make them stop spending our money on wasteful projects by voting out King Obama. He doesn't care now, and will care less if re-elected. It's as important as this crazy ban on plastic bags. If you care that much about the next generation.. think twice about voting for more stimulus, gov't-run doctor clinics, and a divided country. United we stand.. divided we fall.

  12. Generalissmo Chuck Shumer of NY, New York, USAJune 28, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    Funny thing, I voted against Obama, will do it again, but still want to "save" the next generation. What does one have to do with the other. If it were 1972, I would say that I would have been on the bandwagon of impeaching the self-appointed savior of the democracy, Richard M. Nixon and send him along with his bribing tax cheating former deputy emperor, and, I would still support not using plastic, we can do both.

  13. Rocket ScientistJune 28, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    4:10, Where did you go to school; I hope it was not Sanwich where hopefully one could be able to descern that 21 No votes in Randy's poll are more than 19 Yes votes.


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