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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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0 # Guest 2010-11-30 05:25
Which Black community do you live in? The one I'm in has a breeze, and it blows dozens of bags into the area in front of my home every week, and many get stuck on the fence or a bush. I have to go and clean it up.

As for the filthy bags - you should put them into the washing machine once in a while.

As for the expense - the MTA and other organizations have been giving away bags to low-income people for a couple years. Everyone has bags, especially anyone riding the bus.
-2 # Guest 2010-08-19 14:33
Have you considered how filthy and disgusting the reusable bags become after a short period of use? all you have to do is ask the cashiers of places that already encourage reusable bags about the dirt, pet hair, and general grunge, both inside and out of the bags already showing up……I can’t wait to put my groceries and table items on those converer belts and bagging areas……..YUUUUUUK

Read more: http://plasticbagbanreport.com/ab1998-california-plastic-bag-ban-bill-passes-committee/comment-page-1/#comment-1153#ixzz0x5s2pjDe
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+2 # Guest 2010-08-18 12:05
Not to mention the inherent costs of cleanup that the litter that plastic bags impose on government. That library down the street that just closed, the teacher that just got laid off, the parks and rec employee we couldn't hire, well, part of that money is eaten up by litter abatement. It costs the state, county and city governments combined 1.3 billion per year to clean up the plastic bags off our beaches, streets, waterways, etc. And guess which public services usually get the axe first? Poor neighborhoods, the ones who need it most, so they just pay for the cost of the bags in a far worse way. I just saw a library close in a horrifically depressed area. They really needed that service, but alas, no money. We all need to make sacrifices. Reuse a bag and save a library.
+2 # Guest 2010-08-12 08:11
You are being lied to!! The claim that somehow this is bad legislation because it unfairly affects the poor communities is outrageous. If you watched Sanja Gupta's Toxic America, you know that the hispanic and black communities are impacted by dirty factories due to dumping chemicals from manufacturing plastics, etc. Did you see Erin Brockovich? Wake up and smell the heavy metals, dioxins, phthalates, etc. When I see a list that you provided of the black and hispanic chambers of commerce opposing AB 1998, I am sad and outraged that you can't see how you are being duped!!
+2 # Guest 2010-08-11 17:04
Plastic bag ban will have a tremendous positive environmental impact long-term, as well as immediate results, which will be evident not just in the ocean but around parks and streets of our neighborhoods. The price we pay for the loss of wildlife and the irreversible damages to our ecosystem is unjustifiable, not to mention the costs of collection, recycling and disposal of plastic bags. As for employment, it is completely untrue that the ban will eliminate jobs in California. Statistical data shows there will be an increase in jobs created by companies producing reusable bags.
+1 # Guest 2010-08-06 10:18
There is a huge garbage patch in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that is mostly made up of plastics. See http://reusablebags.wordpress.com While I understand the concern of the impact on the poor with the 5 cent tax, we have to work together to lessen our impact on the earth or we will all be poorer in the long time.
+2 # Guest 2010-08-06 10:16
There is a huge garbage patch floating in the Pacific Ocean that is mostly comprised of plastics. See http://reusablebags.wordpress.com. The more I learn about the "landfill in the sea" the scarier it is. I understand that we don't want to impact the poor, but we have to work together to make sure that we lessen the impact on the earth, or we are all going to be poorer for it.
0 # Guest 2010-07-22 12:09
[Whatever the reason {immigrants come to US} we need to find a humane and decent way of doing it so “we can all get along”.

I have reviewed the Obama Administration’s proposed idea and even though I do not agree with every aspect of it, it is a good place for us to start. Securing all borders South and North is critical if Homeland Security is a stated priority. In my mind you cannot close the border of Mexico and then leave Canada wide open. We cannot give Cubans who touch USA land rights then lock up Haitians and ship them back home.

We cannot treat illegals from Mexico or other Latin countries as criminals without treating the U. S. corporations or government agencies who hire them as criminals as well.]

I couldn't agree with Brother Hardy more on these points!
+1 # Guest 2010-07-22 10:51
You sound like a lobbyist for the ACC or the plastic industry. I'm a poor person, unemployed, and I support AB 1998 because I have seen what the plastic epidemic is doing to the ocean and it must be addressed. I have never paid for a bag and I never will. Reusables are everywhere and offered free of charge. Do you have any idea what plastic is doing to the environment? Please go to algalita.org and read the research before you talk about something you don't understand. I don't have kids but I care how I leave the planet for those who do.

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