Plastic bag ban starts Monday

October 1, 2012

San Luis Obispo County residents need to add reusable bags to their shopping lists or pay 10 cents apiece for paper bags to comply with a new ordinance that goes into effect on Monday.

Following impassioned arguments for and against the use of plastic bags, the San Luis Obispo County Integrated Waste Management Authority in January voted 8-5 to ban plastic bags and require stores to charge for paper bags.

Proponents of the ordinance noted the environmental hazards with plastic bags ending up in waterways, poisoning marine life and polluting landfills. Opponents questioned the safety of reusing cloth bags because bacteria could result in cross contamination and argued against the mandated paper bag charge.

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.



Responsibility cannot be mandated. In fact, this ordinance will affect far more responsible citizens than irresponsible ones.

The Board passed the ordinance in a hurry- this was not our only option! For instance, plastic bags are recycled in the USA to produce decking material. Why not have the Integrated Waste Management collect the bags and sell them to back to offset the cost of collection/sorting?

Where is our local environmental impact report? Why is SLO big city sheep?

For those who don’t want to hear about our rights being taken away, or don’t want to consider this an undue tax… perhaps your pride is misplaced. It is not found in the regulations of our government, but in our individual responsibility. The issue at hand is much larger than plasctic bags.

Ted Slanders


The ten cents for a bag is a tax? Huh? Then can we right the accumulating “bag tax” off on our IRS returns every year like we can for our mortgage interest payments?

This bag thingy seems as though it would be a “payment”, like, you know, when you by a package of gum on the way out of the checking stand. How can it be a “tax”, per se?

Oh wait!!!! Albeit, that you’re one of those that portray the Obama Healthcare Act mandated payment as a tax too? Correct? Then if this is a tax, like your bag tax analogy, then your late payment for NOT paying on time to your healthcare company is a “tax” as well, and not a penalty, because it is within the same context. Just remember that, okay?

Also, inform Mitt Romney that his Massachusetts healthcare reform mandatory payment is also a “tax”, and not a penalty for not paying. This will be the final embarrassing nail to his coffin before election day!


How did Romney and Masachusetts end up in a plastic bag post ?

Ted Slanders


By my godly and complete finesse! Thankyouverymuch.


If the ten cents charged goes back to the store than yes not a tax. If the ten cents charged goes to ANY Government enity then it is a tax.


According to the fishwrap yesterday, SLO County uses 1.3 million bags a year x $.10 each PLUS the sales tax you will pay does equal new revenue for the County, State and Feds. Why wouldn’t they want to impose this, it’s more money for government to spend. There is not enough money for these idiots to spend and so you can all look forward to them finding NEW and CREATIVE ways to create new revenue sources for all the giveways. Yhe best part of all this is how all these idiots keep getting reelected. We deserve what we have – me, I am not voting for one incumbent. That is our only power!


Or how about the $1000 fine per day for local retailers who don’t comply?

Most certainly revenue for our County Government.

Who is paying to check for compliance? (Aside from the progressive self-righteous who would be more than happy to rat on anyone who would dare give away a plastic bag.)

Ted Slanders


But, but, but, that has yet to be determined! Furthermore, UnCommonSenseMama says it’s a tax. She must have inroads to make an absolute statement like this. Therefore, my response.


Why would I pay a “penalty” fee for buying groceries at the time of service? Because of the MANDATORY ordinance! You can call it a penalty if you want, that still does not make it right. A penalty denotes that I have acted out of accordance with my legal responsibility.

By the way on it is referred to as a penalty tax.

So I guess I am “one of those who portray the Obama Helathcare Act mandated payment as a tax too”. “Just remember that, okay?”

Paper/Reusable bags and mandatory Healthcare are only going to add to my cost of living, not lessen it.


For everyone who believes that this is some new way to charge a “tax” in the form of 10 cents per paper bag, I have the perfect solution. Go buy reusable bags! Now every time, yes every single time you go to a store where they no longer allow plastic bags, you can use your own reusable bags and not risk having to fork over a dime which does not go to the government anyway. Pretty soon, all those dimes saved will have paid for those reusable bags. Better yet, our creeks, oceans, fields, etc will not be littered with homeless plastic bags, just homeless people.


If you are so concerned about all the litter, I suggest we do away with all paper carryout (bring you own utensils, plates, etc.), bring your own jug when buying beer (by far a larger VOLUME of cans, bottles and cold drink containers than plastic bags create, so clean a road way sometime), and for heaven sakes, let’s stop selling those nasty cigarettes that the government wants to continue selling (even out President smokes the dam things) because they, the package, matches etc also create a VOLUME of waste and besides, we don’t need the millions of dollars they bring in for tax revenue. If it is so evil, do away with it all and then we won’t have to discuss lung, throat and tongue cancel, won’t need to see out kids smoking, won;t have to see all those billboards, signs, posters, and the jobs that they create off the government payroll. So many savings and so many issues and we have to be discussing plastic bags. And best of all, a Southern California City that has this ordinance. for almost two years now with the $.10 price per bag, just increased it to $.15 so they can get a nickel. If any of you think this it will stop at a dime you are fooling yourselves.


Textbook example of the slippery slope fallacy. Fallacy defined: an often plausible argument using false or invalid inference. A false or mistaken idea (Merriam-Webster).

And concerning your idea to bring your own utensils when eating out and jugs when buying beer. You’re free to do that. You can buy a growler (large glass jug) from many breweries that they will happily refill when empty. And when you buy beer in a can you are charged CRV (A TAX OH NO)! Check your receipt. Now I’m still confused on what you’re pissed off about.

Aluminum is recycled at a rate of about 60% whereas we only recover about 5% of the plastics produced with 50% ending up in landfills, an unknown percent is reused to create durable goods, and much is unaccounted for. Creeks, oceans, etc. If you folks are upset because the government has imposed this upon you making you feel as if you’re personal freedoms/choices are being infringed upon, then you haven’t been paying attention to the larger world around you. Getting rid of plastic bags helps the environment and is easily maneuvered around by simply purchasing low cost reusable bags. Whats the fricken problem? By the way these two little illegal wars we are involved in (will be 3 if Romney is elected, Iran.) Are costing $19.3 million dollars per hour. Not to mention, more importantly, the death and destruction they cause both here and abroad. That’s $19,300,000 per hour for how many years now? Now that’s something to be pissed off about.


That’s $19,300,000 per hour for how many years now?

don’t worry we put it on the Sax card at 19.5% compound quarterly interest with service charges and fees whats the problem ?


lets get the ballot measure going to allow the bags back. This hidden tax of john Ashbaugh and bruce gibson is bad.


The bags are still allowed – you just have to buy them yourself. If you really love disposable plastic bags, you can buy a grip of them for cheap online. All that was eliminated was the so called freebies (that everyone ends up paying for in higher prices.)

The whole cross contamination myth was debunked years ago. You’d get more bacteria from a salad than licking the dirtiest bag in the bag study.


Don’t forget the cost to the taxpayers of the new ‘ PLASTIC BAG POLICE ‘

Jorge Estrada

I thought all of the new plastic bags are bio-degrade, compost? If true, is this all about fee slapping?


I walk the beach just about every day, Ive yet to see a now banned plastic bag wrapped around a fish,bird or other animal’s body or head. I do not see any floating in the waters either. What I do see is dozens of those damn paper light Styrofoam food trays getting eaten by Seagulls and blowing all over the place. Take a walk along the tide line in Pismo and tell me you don’t find handfuls of chunks of this crap. Perhaps we should require the terrorists…ahhh…I mean tourists to bring their own plates and cups into the dozens of greasy spoons that contribute to this mess and are to lazy to take responsibility in their part in destroying our beaches and ocean.


The ocean is a lot larger than just the shore. Check out this website.


I have not been able to find out who gets the 10 cents per bad? If it goes to the county or state, isn’t this another tax? I’ve carried my own bags for a week now – now to remember to actually take them into the store with me. I wonder… if I forget to tske my own bags, can I put them back into the cart, take them to my car and then unload therm into my own bags or even a box?



Go here and look at the actual odrinance, especailly Sections 3 Store “Resposnibility” and Section 4 “Enforcement”.

Sec 3: “but shall charge the customers after Dec1, 2012 a reasonable cost for each bag, but not less than ten cents per bag.”

Looks open ended to me…

Sec 4a: This section is several paragraphs, but the bottom line is each enfraction will be enforced and prosecuted by both the IWMA, the cities and the county of SLO, including all law enforcement agencies there of. The penalty is $1000 per day per occurance and to include a misdemeaner punishable under the laws of the state of CA, which can include imprisionment of not more than 6 months and a $1000 fine or both.

All this to me means many agencies will be enforcing and punishing each enfraction by any of the retail outlets not in complete compliance.

Seems a bit open ended and severe, epsecially when Sec 3 states “nothing in this ordinance prohibits customers from using bags of any type they bring to the store themselves”.

Punish the stores and pass on the costs of everything to the taxpayers, all in order to force compliance on a questionable environmental issue with not much recorded data. And the forced recycling by all stores does not apply to these very bags. Has anyone tried recycle them at home in your blue can? They do not take take them…


The plastic bag ban seem reasonable, but denying Grandma the paper bag she has been relying on for the last 80 years goes too far. Paper grocery bags are made from a renewable resource, and make recycling other paper products practical. And why should Grandma, living on her fixed social security check, suddenly have to pay a fee to bag her groceries; of the market owner have to spend 6 months in the county jail for giving Grandma a bag when she forgets to bring her own?

Even the argument that the price of food will come down because the price of paper bags was built into the cost of food is spurious. The cost of accounting for the bags sold, and to turn that money over to the county, will offset any predicted savings. When we are filling out our ballots, remember that the incumbents were part of the small team that pushed this ban on paper bags through. If we want a City Council that will reverse these short sighted overreaching restrictions, consider voting for one of the other candidates for Mayor and City Council.


The true costs of the plastic bags have never been paid by the stores and their customers who use them.

The plastic bags are part of the debris that ends up in our streams and oceans, where they often cause problems for the fish and other animals that live there.

The plastic bags also end up as a tribute to poor-white-trash, with our trees and shrubs festooned with them.

Then there is the question of how biodegradeable these bags actually are.



Decomposing bags sound environmentally friendly but they require a lot of energy to make, won’t degrade in landfills and may leave toxic leftovers….


The most revealing word in your article of proof is “may.” This plays on emotion, and not logic.


Buy grandma some biodegradeable shopping bags.


I couldn’t help but notice the new poop bags installed in Paso where people frequently walk their dogs.

The conclusion is the plastic bags are like matter, neither created or destroyed, they just change their uses.


Pay attention to how this plays out in the future.

The markets already figure in the cost of bags and pass that along to us customer. And, IMHO the cities and county have their eyes set on claiming some of this money. Language in the ordimance states the price is starting at 10 cents a piece and that leaves an open door for price hikes and to whm the money will really go…