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AB 1998 is Bad Legislation

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There is a bill working its way through the California legislature known as AB 1998 which if passed will ban the use of plastic bags to carry your groceries home from the supermarket. Instead, shoppers must buy reusable bags or buy paper bags for 5 cents from the grocer.

I'm sure the paper bags will require double bagging so we're now talking 10 cents extra per bag of groceries.

To me this isn't just another "save the planet do gooder" idea, it's another attempt by an industry to charge us more for something that should be innate to the service they provide...like the airlines now charging for checked luggage knowing that because you are taking a trip you have to take SOMETHING with you.

What's next, charging us to use the shopping carts when we shop?

This legislation also doesn't take into account the poor and those on fixed incomes who cannot afford additional expenses for necessities. Those using public transportation have a difficult time carrying paper bags on buses or trains.

They are also difficult to carry in rain or windy weather. Also plastic bags find multiple uses in our households once we get home.

I'm an advocate for reusable bags, however I understand that they have some risks. Reusable bags can carry bacteria and could contaminate your food if for instance poorly wrapped meat leaks on one shopping trip and then you use the same bag for fruits and vegetables the next shopping trip. They just aren't for everyone and it's ridiculous that our legislators are trying to mandate it. In my opinion they have more more important business to attend to, like focusing on the state's budget crisis, the poor rankings of our schools, the high unemployment rate in our state, and the list goes on....

I could list other reasons against this "noble" idea that in reality is not workable for many of us and should be defeated.

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