Theodore's World: Paper or Plastic ....No Now It will Be Bag It

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March 28, 2007

Paper or Plastic ....No Now It will Be Bag It

San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi hands out canvas shopping bags, Tuesday, March 27, 2007, in San Francisco. San Francisco's Board of Supervisors on Tuesday is to consider passing an ordinance that would require large supermarkets and pharmacies in the city to replace non-biodegradable plastic bags with reusable or recyclable bags, a move that would make San Francisco the first city in the U.S. to introduce such a ban. Mirkarimi, who sponsored the original version of the ordinance, said the proposal has the support of most supervisors, the city's garbage disposal contractor, and even many smaller retailers, who won't have to comply with the ban. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - City leaders approved a ban on plastic grocery bags after weeks of lobbying on both sides from environmentalists and a supermarket trade group. If Mayor Gavin Newsom signs the ban as expected, San Francisco would be the first U.S. city to adopt such a rule.

The law, passed by a 10-1 vote, requires large markets and drug stores to give customers only a choice among bags made of paper that can be recycled, plastic that breaks down easily enough to be made into compost, or reusable cloth.

San Francisco supervisors and supporters said that by banning the petroleum-based sacks, blamed for littering streets and choking marine life, the measure would go a long way toward helping the city earn its green stripes.

"Hopefully, other cities and states will follow suit," said Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, who crafted the ban after trying to get a 15-cent per bag tax passed in 2005.

The 50 grocery stores that would be most affected by the law argued that the ban was not reasonable because plastic bags made of corn byproducts are a relatively new, expensive and untested product. Some said they might offer only paper bags at checkout.

"I think what grocers will do now that this has passed is, they will review all their options and decide what they think works best for them economically," said David Heylen, a spokesman for the California Grocers Association.

Newsom supported the measure. The switch is scheduled to take effect in six months for grocery stores and in one year for pharmacies.

Craig Noble, a spokesman for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said it would be disappointing if grocers rejected the biodegradable plastic bag option, since more trees would have to be cut down if paper bag use increases.

The new breed of bags "offers consumers a way out of a false choice, a way out of the paper or plastic dilemma," Noble said.

Wild Thing's comment........

Wasn't the reason why we have plastic grocery bags is because of the envirowackos didn't want us to cut down trees by using paper bags ? Time for a I LOVE GLOBAL WARMING bag give away in San Francisco.

So, paper or plastic was too much freedom of choice for these fascists? They're not happy unless they're telling you what kind of car to drive, where you can smoke, whether you can have a gun, what words are permissable to say.

Every time I was in Europe I would see them use bags kind of like the one in the photo above. They were fine if only buying a few items. But I never saw people shopping like we do with a whole cart full of groceries. How the heck will a person get all those groceries in one of those bags. Or even several bags like that. hahahaha

Posted by Wild Thing at March 28, 2007 12:44 AM


"Wasn't the reason why we have plastic grocery bags is because of the envirowackos didn't want us to cut down trees by using paper bags?"

Nope. Its a much simpler reason - plastic bags are cheaper.

At least cloth bags wont split in the parking lot.

Posted by: Suricou Raven at March 28, 2007 04:59 AM

"externalities". Here, I'll look it up for you:

Benefits or costs generated as the result of an economic activity, that do not accrue directly to the parties involved in the activity. For example, environmental externalities are benefits or costs that manifest themselves through changes in the physical or biological environment regardless of the relationship of the parties to the environmental regime impacted.

Your freedom to drive a gas guzzling car, smoke in public, et al, are all predicated on your imposing significant costs on the public at large. Thus, the public will regulate activities in order to counter your externalization of costs.

Seems fair to me. What I don't understand are people like you, who seem to believe that there's nothing wrong with forcibly externalizing the costs of your activities, and in fact, mock those that would desire to not pay your price.

As for the gun ban, I can't help you there. It was a stupid idea, simply because it would never produce the desired effect, and it was overturned immediately.

Posted by: fred at March 28, 2007 05:22 AM

How about freedom of choice. Paper, plastic or cloth? Next those SanFranwhakos will be telling people which hand they have carry those cloth bags in and where and which day they have to shop. Socialism! And some people really like it. Let the elite and privileged think and decide for you. You don't want to stress your mind.

Posted by: TomR at March 28, 2007 05:47 AM

But can't those plastic bags be recycled?
I use them for lunch bags, garbage bags, carryalls.
Sure, sometimes if you overload them, they split, but San Francisco is becoming a pain. They're banning everything!
What will they ban next? roller skates? (a person could get hurt!), butter knives? (someone could get stabbed!), baseball bats (lethal weapon!)
See how silly it all sounds? And who wants to carry around cloth bags in the car and into the grocery or dept store?
But that's San Francisco for you.
Why don't they just secede and go under European laws?

Posted by: Lynn at March 28, 2007 06:25 AM

Well this story runs parallel with the Moonbat story from Portland. It seems that the teachers of a certain school have 'banned' because it encourages Capitoliam, God forbid. This doesn't teach the young kiddies about collectivism, i.e., communism is what this is all about.

Maybe the next thing they will want to recycle is condoms afterall we don't need the fish to be coming down with some STD, from a San Francisco wierdo.

Yes, Fred I drive a gas guzzeling car in fact I have built them in the past, especially the big Dodge 426 Hemi with cross ram induction, 5:13's in the rear-end and idled at about 1500-2000 rpm, maybe. When you punched that mother, though, you could watch the gas gauge move, and talk about CO2, it would smoke the tires now that is pollution, all that rubber burning, Open exhaust, No Catalytic Convertor to rob horsepower, just headers,...So I don't need some Enviromental-whacko-weenie like you, who wants to drive a Yugo, telling me what I can and cannot do.

You can take your socialists laws and stick'em where the sun don't shine. This is still America, the best damn country EVER. When enough Americans wake up, you and your wrecking crew will be on your way out, on the fast track to Vladivostok. Which is where all you whackos belong.

Posted by: Mark at March 28, 2007 08:36 AM

I think this law is fantastic for San Francisco. Prices will undoubtedly have to increase to compensate for the additional cost of the "approved" bags. I'm thrilled the people of SF will have to pay this costs as it will serve them right for electing the most loony boobs they could find for city officials. I hope it adds at least 5 cents to the cost of every item in the city.

Posted by: BobF at March 28, 2007 08:06 PM

Tom, I agree, freedom of choice is the best.

Posted by: Wild Thing at March 28, 2007 11:50 PM

Lynn, I agree, we use the plastic bags a lot for so many things.

Posted by: Wild Thing at March 28, 2007 11:50 PM

Mark, hahahaha Ditto!

And that is awful about the story you told about from Portland. Your right that is what they want to do, take drive and ambition away from the next generation. And every person be a nice little communist.

Posted by: Wild Thing at March 28, 2007 11:53 PM

Fred, no way!

There is no way I am giving up what I driive. I am keeping my Grand Jeep Cherokee, I love it.

Posted by: Wild Thing at March 28, 2007 11:54 PM

Bob, hahahahaaha you have a good point. heh heh

Posted by: Wild Thing at March 28, 2007 11:55 PM

Trees for paper are like a crop they are farmed.
Used paper is recycled end of pt.1 pt.2
plastic comes from what kids?Yes thats right
"OIL" They say we must ween our selves from oil but they keep pumping out plastic.If we can take
what they say we use per day, barrel wise, I would
guess plastic uses as much or more than our cars.
so I say screw the plastic industry bring back
paper bags and make more and cheaper gas for my

Posted by: Tincan Sailor at March 29, 2007 07:29 PM

What am I to put my children's dirty diapers in?

Posted by: obob at March 31, 2007 11:42 PM