SLO County’s proposed bag ban moving forward

July 18, 2011

Single-use paper and plastic bags could be banned at San Luis Obispo County’s larger grocery stores as early as Jan. 1, 2013, under an ordinance proposed by the county’s Integrated Waste Management Authority.

At an authority meeting last week, board members agreed the proposed ordinance would outlaw single-use plastic and paper bags at large grocery stores beginning in Jan. 2013, and then over a year long period, phase in all county businesses including dry cleaners. An exemption would be made for pharmaceuticals.

The board plans to continue refining the ordinance with a draft to go before the board on Sept. 14.

The proposal also requires that county retail stores sell reusable bags.

Proponents of the ordinance say plastic bags are an environmental hazard — ending up in waterways, poisoning marine life and polluting landfills.

The Atascadero City Council came to a consensus that it is against the proposed ordinance because some people may not be able to afford the reusable bags. In addition, councilman Jerry Clay noted plastic bags come in handy at dog parks.

Dozens of U.S. cities and counties now outlaw the use of plastic bags with some also restricting the use of paper bags. In addition, several retailers, such as Whole Foods, voluntarily stopped the use of plastic bags at all of their stores.

On Thursday, the California Supreme Court upheld the right of cities to ban plastic bags in a unanimous decision called a victory by environmentalists. The court ruled that local governments can ban plastic bags without conducting a full-scale environmental review.

Even so, a lawyer for plastic bag makers said the manufacturers would continue to sue municipalities that impose bans without environmental impact reports, the Los Angeles Times said.


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justme

Co Integrated Waste Management Auth.

First on their agenda should be to fire themselves, right?


Kevin Rice

LOL!! That would be the ENTIRE Board of Supervisors (Hill, Gibson, Patterson, Mecham, Teixeira) and seven representative city council members…. hey, that sounds pretty good!


Cindy

What the hell are our recycling bins for? I thought we were recycling paper and plastic products so what’s the big deal? Don’t we all throw our plastic and paper in our recycle can’s, don’t we all have an extra can in our driveway for just that purpose? Also the grocery stores have drop off bin’s for our plastic bags and it was my impression that those bags were sanitized and reused. What do they do with all those bags that I return?


I usually don’t agree with most of Jerry Clay’s avoidance to environmental issues but he has a point, what are we going to pick up the dog poop with at the park or on the side walk, toilet paper? Oh that’s paper too, isn’t it.


Like I’ve said many times, leave it to gubmint to screw everything up.


Typoqueen

“What the hell are our recycling bins for?”


It appears that you’re not the only one that doesn’t know what they’re for.


” I thought we were recycling paper and plastic products so what’s the big deal?”


You thought wrong.


“Don’t we all throw our plastic and paper in our recycle can’s,”


No, not all of us.


“don’t we all have an extra can in our driveway for just that purpose?”


And there lies part of the problem. Most of those recycle cans in your driveway aren’t for plastic bags. If it’s not printed on your recycle bin then check out their website or give them a call. Most don’t except plastic shopping bags.


I hope that I was able to clear these things up for you. Let me know if you have any other questions.


sloslo

“What the hell are our recycling bins for? I thought we were recycling paper and plastic products so what’s the big deal?”


Recycling doesn’t come for free. It requires a lot of energy to process and remanufacture every item that you recycle, and none of it gets reused 100%. Sure, it’s better than landfilling those items, but it is far better still to REUSE perfectly good items rather than lazily tossing them in the recycle bin.


“Also the grocery stores have drop off bin’s for our plastic bags and it was my impression that those bags were sanitized and reused.”


Do you honestly think that the grocery store sanitizes and reuses all the random bags dropped in those bins? Here is an exercise for you: Take a nice close look at the plastic bags that the store uses to bag your groceries. You will see that they are all brand new identically branded bags still attached to each other – not the random used bags from a variety of stores that are put in the recycling bin at the store.


“What do they do with all those bags that I return?”


They are shipped to a recycling facility, melted down, and processed, of course.


“what are we going to pick up the dog poop with at the park or on the side walk”


Once again you are completely ignorant on this issue. People are still welcome to purchase plastic bags for whatever purpose they want, including picking up poop. No one is proposing to outlaw the plastic bags that you can purchase to store food, line your trashcan, or pick up after your dog. They are simply saying that stores will no longer provide free plastic bags to bag your groceries because you are too lazy to bring in a reusable bag.


Typoqueen

I’ve read that most of the grocery stores end up simply throwing those bags away.


Most grocery bags aren’t recyclable like regular plastic because of the high petroleum content.


Cindy

What is it about you liberals that everything has to be spelled out for you, or do you just like pretending that you think everybody else is lame brained and just plain stupid? Do you really think that when I said : “Also the grocery stores have drop off bin’s for our plastic bags and it was my impression that those bags were sanitized and reused.” that I was insinuating that the grocery store sanitizes the bags themselves and then reuse’s them? Of course the store returns them to a manufacturer who reprocesses them. The fact that the bags are reprocessed and reused is exactly my point.


Before we ban plastic bags, maybe we should define a program for proper disposal rather than these knee jerk liberal reactions? You’re a pro at sarcasm but you’re sense of reason is out the window. Try considering the fact that you’re not smarter than everyone else, you might learn something.


Typoqueen

Many of the stores do nothing but throw them away. Cindy, I’m trying not to be rude here so I won’t speak to your intelligence. I think it’s great that you had parents that gave you so much self confidence. On a positive note, self confidence can be better than intelligence,,,under some circumstances.


sloslo

I’ll ignore your mindless “liberal” name calling and baiting to point out that your complete avoidance in addressing any of the main points that I and the others you are calling “knee jerk liberals” have posted. Namely:

1. Curbside recycling in SLO and most other cities in California will not accept plastic bags. This fact is common knowledge and is easily verified by checking online. The only way you can recycling plastic bags is through limited store recycling programs and (according to some people) the stores may just throw them away anyway.

2. Even if the bags are recycled this is in no way equivalent to reuse, as the recycling process wastes large amounts of energy and never recovers close to 100% of the material for reuse.

3. The proposed ban does not prevent people from *purchasing* plastic bags.


You might want to brush up on your definitions on “liberals”. Far from being a “liberal” value, wanting to conserve our resources and the environments is actually a true “conservative” value in the purist sense. These values cross party lines and ideological boundaries, although it perhaps does not match what you have perverted the definition of conservative to mean to you.


Finally, an obligatory grammar critique:

“you’re sense of reason is out the window”

Please research the difference between “you’re” and “your” before you feel inclined to lecture the rest of us on the location of our sense of reason.


Cindy

Oh sloslo,

Regarding your question number 1. Funny how you utilized the following excerpt from my 7/18 -11:22am post to condescend me (in your last post) while ignoring this very same sentence, which addresses your current question.


“Also the grocery stores have drop off bin’s for our plastic bags and it was my impression that those bags were sanitized and reused. What do they do with all those bags that I return?”


As you see, I return my bags to the grocery store and by the way, my refuse company does take plastic bags and what about paper, what’s the problem with paper bags ? Isn’t paper recycled and also biodegradable (this is about recycling, leave the trees out of it) and NO, the grocery stores do not throw away the returned bags, it’s a left wing rumor! To put it quite simply, what is needed is education not eradication and maybe a new recycling process starting with the refuse inadequacies.


P.S. Do you consider yourself clever to equate my sense of reasoning to the error of carelessly applying “you’re” vs. “your” on a blog occasionally? You do, don’t you!


Ugluk

(1. A homeless man burns to death under Madonna bridge. More people are about to forced into the same situation with the closure of Sunny Acres. (2. A brutal thug of a firefighter (allegedly) brutally beat a man senseless in a bathroom, tells his supervisor about it, yet is not fired. (3. Los Osos wallows in sewage, corruption, and conflict of interest.


So of course our brilliant and fearless leaders decide to focus on (4. banning single-use plastic and paper bags in local grocery stores. I salute them for their courage and focus. The stewards on the Titanic probably felt a similar glow of satisfaction every time they re-arranged the deck chairs.


BeenThereDoneThat

Another case where Gov’t thinks it is fixing something. My guess it will be the usual track record. More Gov. employees to enforce (and cost more in paying them) and it winding up to be a major pain in the ASS!!!


I’ve lived my entire life in California and I can’t believe we keep going further and further down the road of lunacy!!


TaxMeAgain

http://eponline.com/articles/2010/07/01/reusable-grocery-bags-breed-bacteria-research-says.aspx


Reusable grocery bags can serve as a breeding ground for dangerous food-borne bacteria and pose a serious risk to public health, according to a joint food safety research report issued by researchers at the University of Arizona and Loma Linda University. The study — which randomly tested reusable grocery bags carried by shoppers in the Los Angeles area, San Francisco, and Tucson, Ariz. — also found consumers were almost completely unaware of the need to regularly wash their bags.


“Our findings suggest a serious threat to public health, especially from coliform bacteria including E. coli, which were detected in half the bags sampled,” said Charles Gerba, Ph.D., a University of Arizona environmental microbiology professor and co-author of the study. “Furthermore, consumers are alarmingly unaware of these risks and the critical need to sanitize their bags after every use.”


The bacteria levels found in reusable bags were significant enough to cause a wide range of serious health problems and even lead to death — a particular danger for young children, who are especially vulnerable to food-borne illnesses, he said.


sloslo

“Reusable grocery bags can serve as a breeding ground for dangerous food-borne bacterial.”


This is news to anyone?? ANY surface that is exposed to food can serve as a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria!


If people contaminate their reusable bags and neglect to wash them, that is hardly the bag’s fault. Their lack of sanitary sense could cause them to be exposed to dangerous bacteria no matter how they transport their food home – reusable bag or throwaway bag. If anything, I’d sooner trust a bag I brought from home and washed myself than any random plastic bag the grocer decides to use to bag my groceries.


mrcyberdoc

Great, so I’ll just steal a shopping cart to take my stuff home. I can see someone from out of town visitng SLO county (probably the last time they will), going to the grocery store, buying a weeks supply of groceries for their camping experience just to find 4 cubic feet of groceries on the counter with nothing to put them in. California is soooo PC it make me want to puke.


rogerfreberg

well, I am so glad that my county officials are tackling the real problems of our day! I hope they feel that they have earned another fat pay raise… or have they done that already?


These emotional issues like this are really only a distraction, it’s the economy stupid.


One friend of mine hired a guy who trimmed his lawn, saw his ‘environmental’ stickers on his truck and fired him, and now he takes care of it himself… was he wrong ?


I don’t think so.


racket

Can you say “Nanny State?”


zaphod
Spirit Filled

Finally we have a winning decision about plastic bags and etc. Atascadero is now a fully fledged destination. People will be coming up here from San Luis to get their groceries even when it’s too hot for them. I love Atrashcadero because we are not afraid to do what’s right. Thank you Atrashcadero!


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