SLO County votes in plastic bag ban

January 12, 2012

Following impassioned arguments for and against the use of plastic bags, the San Luis Obispo County Integrated Waste Management Authority’s board voted Wednesday to ban single-use plastic bags countywide in most stores, beginning in October, and to mandate stores charge 10 cents for paper bags.

The board voted 8-5 to outlaw the use of plastic bags in most San Luis Obispo County stores.

In July, 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.

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I want to recycle all of these STUPID PEOPLE anti-recyclers into COMPOSTE.



These Republo-idiots are literally TOO stupid to be allowed to live !

Best to composte them, and make the best of bad circumstances. !!!

WOW!!! Talk about anger issues. Well when you are done having your little tirad, have you thought (or even read the many posts here) as to what some of those people (myself being one) are saying?? First off I have stated many time here that my curbside blue bin recycler goes out every week about full. I recently took some standard metal that I have been saving up from projects, into recycle. I use the plastic bags for all kinds of things around the house. Whenever we get an abundace, my wife takes the extra to the store. I have seen others post comments similar to this.

Now that being said, yes I am against this ban. I do not like to see the Gov.t overstepping there bounds into this area. It has nothing to do with being anti-recyling. Now I’m sure you will not want to believe and want to go off into your third grade tirad again but that is the REALITY my friend.

Drag a bag to the store, you LAZY idiocrats.

You ONLY have to get USED to change…MORONS !

I SWEAR, people that REFUSE to change should be changed into DIRT !

Are retailers going to be able to offer ‘multi-use’ plastic bags to their customers?


Wait until we have an outbreak of E Coli from some idiot who decides to use the restroom and not wash his hands before venturing into the vegetable area. His hands touch his veggies, he then proceeds to checkout and the cashier puts his un-bagged veggies on the scale and you get the point. Well thought out idiots. These bags have helped stop the spread of disease, flus, colds, etc. Sure, use them for sealed foods, clothing, etc. but for fresh foods? Thanks again for meats that leak blood all over my car. I will send the bill the Patterson and company. This is way out of bounds. Gotta love the ultra liberals on this one. We always use re-usable bags for final packing but meat and other fresh foods? Sorry, but i don’t like pork blood mixed with my fresh carrots I have for lunch. Thanks Jim. I hope you get sick first.

At every single meat counter at every single grocery store there are plastic bag dispensers for you to put your “leaking” meat packages in. The same thing goes for the produce departments; these provided bags are still going to be available for customer use, and like the plastic t-shirt bags at the check stand that will no longer be available, you do “pay” for those bags with your purchase. Every single item a customer uses in the grocery store is accounted for in the profit margins the stores operate on, which is a very small margin indeed. If you cannot figure out how to bag your fresh meat and produce purchases so that they do not leak out all over your car or kitchen counter you really do need some help. Perhaps you could google how to properly use the clear wrap bags at the meat counter?

Every single outbreak of E Coli or salmonella has come from the either the producer/packer or the grower, not at the grocery store. Look it up.

Any business person knows there is nothing “free”. Just because a bag is given to the customer at the store definitely does not make it free. Someone paid for the bag and as always it is the consumer. Like you said, “every single item a customer uses in the grocery store is accounted for in the profit margins the stores operate on…” The consumer just thinks they’ve been getting something for free. The thought they are paying for something now causes outrage. Some then decide that makes it a tax, which is an interesting argument because it means they have been “taxed” all along.

It’s nice to see a heightened awareness of personal hygiene and germs. Trouble is the research shows there are more of these germs on an ordinary kitchen sponge than in the grocery bag. Now the ordinance doesn’t ban every single plastic bag: just one type, so people can still (and they should) help themselves to a plastic bag in the produce department and meat department etc. for those items, and (of course) use soap and water after you unwrap and handle these items. But don’t think those plastic bags at the meat counter and produce area are free. They aren’t. That cost has been accounted for in other ways.

While I agree with some of the points you made, I think the tenor detracts from the message.

Plastic bags in the produce department and meat counters are excluded. In other words those bags will still be available.

The ordinance eliminates one type of bag in certain stores (not every store). It’s got very clear limitations.

O.K. so we got rid of those pesky plastic shopping bags but I still loose sleep at night thinking about all the items I put in my cart that are wrapped in plastic. Nice to see that we have at least 5 elected officials with more than a brain stem!

This a regressive tax that inadvertantly penalizes the poor, and I for one, am surprised at who has lined up behind it.

What I mean is that both the rich and the poor have a nearly equal demand for groceries. Clearly, the make-up of the “rich cart” is different than the “poor cart,” but at the end of the day everyone’s gotta haul their food home.

Now, a dozen bags at 10¢ on the rich man’s $200 grocery bill aint no big thang. But a buck-twenty on $38 worth of chicken necks and tortillas is much more significant.

To be progressive, there should be a sliding scale on this tax. It doesn’t need to be difficult, simply bring your past three years 1040s to the check-out line, and the clerk will compute whether you get the 10¢ bag, or a reduced-price bag.

Another thought:

If your blended three year income is beneath a certain threshold, perhaps the store could pay you to take the single use bags.

Sure, it will cost everyone more if they refuse to utilize a re-useable bag and insist on buying disposable ones for $.10 each, but the point of the ban is to encourage people to stop wasting one-time use bags and switch to re-usable bags.

Doing so will actually save money for both the rich and poor. Here is the math:

Previous built-in cost of providing “free” plastic bags to consumers: $50/year/family

Cost of purchasing 5 reusable bags: $5.00

The typical family will save $45 the first year.

Do you really think you will save $45.00 a year???? By your theory that would require the stores to pass the savings from the bags on to us the consumer. Do you think that will happen? Have you seen a business do that before? You’re fooling yourself if you think they will pass it back to you. .

Sloslo, where did you get the $50/yr. By some estimates of buying plastic grocery bags in bulk that 50 would represent approximately 9-10 bags a day, every day of the year for the average family. Most of us don’t go shopping that much. Let me know where you bought those reusable bags. I recently had to spend three times as much when I bought mine.

Simpler solution.Let your accountant do your grocery shopping.

Since I use them for bathroom trash can liners and for doggy doo scooping, does that give me an exemption from ‘….single use…’?

What was the $0.10 tax for again?


(1) It’s not a tax. If you read the actual ordinance it says that “…a store may provide to customers recyclable paper bags upon request, but shall charge the customers a reasonable cost for each bag, but not less than ten cents ($0.10) per bag.” That is not a tax. If you want to buy a paper bag to put your groceries in that you also buy, then you pay the store. FWIW you were also buying that plastic bag. You just thought it was free.

You call it what you want.

When a government entity creates laws and regulations that take money out of my pocket, I call it a tax.


There is nothing in the ordinance that requires you to buy a grocery bag. If you decide to buy anything it is your decision and your’s alone. You have complete control over your decision to buy a bag. However, stating that you will buy something and claim it is a tax is nonsensical. If you simply don’t want to buy something, then don’t. When you go to the grocery store and don’t want to pay for a bag, then just put your groceries back in the cart, or use a cardboard box like you see at Costco, or bring anything you want to bring. No one is going to force you to buy a bag at the cash register. There isn’t much more to it.

Lifted from the Trib:

How they voted …

Voting YES:

Arroyo Grande City Councilman Tim Brown

County Supervisor Bruce Gibson

County Supervisor Adam Hill

County Supervisor Jim Patterson

Grover Beach City Councilwoman Phyllis Molnar

Pismo Beach City Councilman Ted Ehring

San Luis Obispo City Councilman John Ashbaugh

Templeton Community Services District board member Greg O’Sullivan, representing services districts countywide

Voting NO:

Atascadero City Councilman Tom O’Malley

County Supervisor Frank Mecham

County Supervisor Paul Teixeira

Morro Bay City Councilwoman Carla Borchard

Paso Robles City Councilman John Hamon

Teixeria is such a tool.

Paso Guy, we might not agree on the outcome but thanks for posting those votes.

Anything Adam Hill votes for must have something in it for him……

I believe what’s in it for him is the appreciation of the greens.

Now he looks greener, which might help him find a vote or two in June. He is using an enviro-pheromone to try to attract voters.

The bugaboo I see is that he doesn’t need it. The greens are going to support him anyway, and the mods are going to support the other guy.

I heard a rumor that Morro Bay City Councilwoman Carla Borchard voted for it before she voted against it…! ?

It really isn’t the environmental consideration behind this. Sure, they have convinced some (and you know who you are) that is the crux of the issue. 10cents here, $150 a year there, increase tax, assessment fees, late fees, bank fees, fees charged by banks for depositing CASH into your account, added on “conveniene fees”. It all adds up at the end of the year. Add on to all of these, the ever rising cost of gasoline and food. Wages aren’t increasing anytime soon. People are damned lucky to have a job!

Where I am all for saving the Earth, I see a higher agenda here. If you don’t agree with me, fine. You soon will see the light of truth. It always shines…eventually.

How do you suggest that they get people to stop using single use bags? IMO nothing can get some people to change their habits unless there’s money involved.

Couldn’t agree more. I bring my own washable, reusable bags and don’t really have a problem doing so, but every time I shop I use at least 10 one use only produce bags. They don’t line the bathroom trash can and I don’t have animals to follow around with a plastic bag. And speaking of that; aren’t those rolls and rolls of plastic “doggy doodie” bags one time use. So my question is: when is a one time use plastic bag really a one time use plastic bag? Just when you are checking out at the cash register?