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Original post made
on Apr 11, 2012
I understand the concern of "a tax on the poor" regarding the encouragement of bringing your own reusable bags to the grocery store. I suggest that the crafty people create re-usable bags to have available for those in need. They can be made from old plastic bags, video tapes, string or acrylic yarn in order to be long lasting and strong. This would be a wonderful community project!
Here we go again.
If this is just about keeping plastic bags out of our creeks then ban plastic bags.
But why are we charging people for paper bags? If a store wants to charge, that's their business, but why is the City setting a minimum charge for paper bags?
What is the purpose of that? It's not the job of the city council to force me, or anyone else, to use a reusable bag when I go shopping.
"7-Eleven sent us HUNDREDS of emails…."
"we got letterS from grocer's associationS encouraging us to move forward with a ban….."
Hmmm, this does not pass my credibility test. Hundreds of e-mails? Multiple grocer associations even exist locally? And aligned against this?
Perhaps Bryant can share these astounding communications?
Most people reuse any plastic bags they get as garbage bags. It seems this will just shift people to buying plastic bags for garbage, and we'll have the same "problems"?
Once again, our Council proves they are focused on the wrong things: we have a massive budget crisis looming, and they worry about charging for bags.
Some of us use re-use those plastic bags for trash! Come on mv.
Why not include restaurants and charitable organizations? Is it easier to carry a bag to Safeway than to Goodwill or Amici's? It should be a ban on plastic bags, period. How difficult is it to keep a few bags in one's car? Excuses, excuses...
I would expect supporters of the bag-ban to get their fish wrapped in their own reusable canvas bags. Even bag-ban supporters that are Vegan should be bringing their own videotape-woven bags for their veggies.
Smugness abounds, but not common sense.
Why pick on Asian markets? No paper bags, plastic only.
Not only are our so called city leaders off defocussing on feel-good fluff when much bigger issues are at stake, they even dream up farcical exceptions like Goodwill Industries.
It wasn't that long ago local TV news made Mountain View the butt of the valley with the no drive-through but pollution from maneuvering, parking, stopping, starting, and reversing is OK ordinance.
Maybe we need some A players on the team instead of D- feel-good meddlers. Last I heard there were still a lot of qualified folks underemployed….
Wow. Here we go again. Bans on drive-thru's, bans on where people can smoke, bans on plastic bags - yet we still have gangs, burglaries, assaults, etc. But you just keep on regulating every aspect of our lives. Seems to me more time should be spent protecting the citizens of Mountain View, and less time telling us what is good for us. First things first.
Just use all those single use plastic bags on the big rolls in the produce isle.
I want to live in a clean environment and support the city council.
We should all be forced to purchase hand woven bags from places such as Mexico and Guatemala given all the suffering we cause in those countries.
And if we go to restaurants we should all be forced to carry tin mess kits and cups for our take out.
I re-use my bags that aren't torn up from being overpacked at the checkout stand for kitchen trash. I TOTALLY agree with Otto, Malcom, Nick, Sly and Frustrated. And Switch must've read my mind. And now, let's see -- what will I put my kitchen garbage into? Yeah, I'll BUY rolls of PLASTIC BAGS to use for garbage bags = ONE USE AND GONE. Not much "recycling" in that deal.
And, thanks to "Liberal" for putting a snarky smile on my face. But I think that using paper cups for take-out is unacceptable. We should just be forced to CUP OUR HANDS TOGETHER and carry our beverage home THAT way. If this PC-gone-crazy waste of taxpayer funds goes through in Mountain View, I feel like taking cardboard boxes to the market with me and using THOSE to carry my groceries home.
I don't know about all of you who've responded, but seriously, what do we have a City Council for? All they do is regulate our lives to the point of ridiculousness. I thought that things couldn't get more stupid than the ban on drive-thru's, but they just keep out-doing themselves. I'm sure that the people who have been held up and robbed, and whose homes have been broken into are feeling oh so warm and fuzzy knowing that they will not have to deal with those pesky, RECYCLABLE, plastic bags - and deal with those terrible, inconvenient drive-thru's. And by the way, does the council actually do any grocery shopping in our city? There is a place right in front of the stores to put your unused plastic bags FOR RECYCLING if you don't use them for your own trash. What am I missing here? I am seriously at a loss for words as to what our council is thinking. Oh, that's right, nothing. They seem to be so completely clueless about what our city really needs. Next thing on their agenda - banning the wearing of hats inside any public building. Wow. Just wow.
This ban on plastic bags has been boon for the cities that do not have the ban. When friends visit from these areas, they do there shopping here just because we have bags.
But if San Jose jumps off the bridge, then Mt. View must also follow. That's the mentality we live in.
The reason for this ban is a joke. I've visited creeks and I haven't seen this outrageous garbage everyone is talking about. And the trash in to oceans can be related more to mother nature then man alone. Japans earthquake for example.
I would say ban the people that want to ban the plastics. Let our little shops thrive on the stupidity of the other cities.
And as someone said earlier, why are we not making disposable type bags? Oh, then they can't charge you for the paper ones. Money money money is always the bottom line.
Also there has been studies of these reuseable bags that state they have more germs in them then new plastic bags.
I'll have to go buy a box of plastic bags and keep them in my car.
I think they should ban bras next!
What a great idea to use a pile of those bags in the produce isle. About 10 lightly loaded would substitute for a single banned bag. That would be more wasteful and costly.
Alas the city already has so much free time to dream up exceptions like Goodwill Industries they probably will not get the "proof by absurdity" in this and write additional ordinances to control what and how these bag can be used. Maybe hire some bag inspectors as part of code enforcement?
I almost feel like baiting the feel-good bureaucrats with more make-work projects. At least that will distract them from drive-thru ordinances.
Sadly we do need real work to be done.
Oh, by the way, do any of you remember when Walmart tried to ban plastic bags in their store? If you didn't bring your own bag, they told you that you had to buy their bags. I told them that I wasn't going to be forced to by their cheap advertisement and that I would carry what I purchased out of the store without a bag. I then asked them if I would be harassed by the "greeters" for not having a bag. They assured me that I wouldn't, that a lot of people chose not to buy the bags. That little experiment did not last long. Big surprise. I could have just walked out of their store with anything without paying, since they were clearly overwhelmed and didn't have enough staff to check everyone's purchases. All I can say is "look out" to the businesses that use plastic. No one can be forced to buy the bags - there will be a lot of their merchandise "walking" out of their stores if this ban goes into effect. I can only imagine how much inventory was "lost" due to Walmart's attempt at a ban. Good luck with it.
Just another lose of freedom, slowly bit by bit they take away our freedoms. Socialism is here, this is just small part of the ban of ones freedom. Soon you won't be able to have cars, they will be banned, only bicycles will be allowed.
@Frustrated, i agree with you, that Walmart ban was a total screw-up. I saw people leave the checkouts without there groceries and i saw others with their competition bags, people walking out of walmart with Target bags didn't look to good.
@kman, I agree with you totally. I also like the purchasing a box of the bags and having that in ones car.
This is taking the environmental thing a bit to far, turning me anti-environmentalist.
Socialism is here folks.... Now you don't have to wait....
OMG... Wake the heck up.... Dump our council.. elect candidates that are conservative and proud of it. Take the Council out of our lives. Tell them to run the City, NOT our lives.
At the Grocery stores, with this plastic ban in effect, tell them you need help out, let them call one, two or three employees to carry out your "unbagged" groceries to your car. Once home, you simply put them in (your own) a box and carry them in.
Inks and Means are the only sane ones there.
I see a new indurstry coming in.. A box of one hundre (2 or 3 ?) plastic bags that one takes to the store... then we once again can pollute, dump and throw the junk in the creeks... Come on...Get Real.. These bags are good, used several times, and usually responsibily put into the trash dumps...
Stop buying junk made in China. Buy quality and buy American. That will go much further in saving the economy and the planet. Of course, it will also put places like Target, Walmart, etc out of business.
A lot of talk of individual freedom. But our individual freedom to use plastic bags is simply shifting the cost from us to our kids. They are the ones who will have to pay for the cleanup or live on a planet with polluted oceans.
Twenty comments and all against a ban of plastic bags. Who the hell voted these people in? Except for Means and Inks the rest don't represent the mountain view voters I know.
If the plastic bag ban goes on in October, remember the vote goes on in November
I think that you might want to shift that thinking towards the deficit that we're leaving our children with, or the crime sprees that are taking place in our city. As stated in my previous post, there are recycle bins in front of every grocery store that I shop at to take the plastic bags that I, or anyone else, no longer need. The polluters of this world will not stop polluting simply because we place a plastic bag ban on our citizens. It is a slippery slope of taking away our freedoms. I am more concerned with the socialism that is passing for "caring" that is happening in our country. I am appalled that we are leaving our children and grandchildren with this enormous debt. Taking away our rights as citizens to chose what kind of bags we want to use, or whether or not we allow drive-thru's is just a stupid and ignorant waste of our city council's time. Let's deal with things that really matter - have you noticed the upswing in crime in our city? Maybe our council should be more pro-active in dealing with issues surrounding that.
A rallying cry of the anti-plastic bag crowd is that the bags end up in the oceans. (someone even described how the bags strangle sea turtles).
Here's my question. How does the bag I receive in Mtn View, and properly dispose of in my garbage, end up in the ocean? If that's happening regularly, then there's a problem (crime?) with garbage routing, not with handing me a plastic bag in Mtn View.
Further, if paper bags are re-cycleable, why charge for them?
This council has been devoid of leadership since Duggan retired. I'm becoming concerned that's an issue. For so long, MV councilmembers could rely on the ideas and judgment of a sound City Manager. It may have masked some missing expertise in other sources.
Our council is also receiving misinformation. Based on the notes, someone had reported to them that an informal survey indicated that the community was in support of this ban. At least based on the comments on this board, there seems to be very little support for this initiative.
If they proceed with this or the drive-thru ban, we should initiate a RECALL on Ronit Bryant (and potentially Jac -- both have terms that expire in 2015).
Wow! Plastic bags were introduced into our purchasing processes in the 1970s. They are petroleum-based and even though stores such as Safeway have bins outside the stores for bag recycling, if you watch most stores (i was invlved in a project twhich was interested in bag recycling) most of the time the bags were just dumped into the trash dumpster. Are plastic bags a good use of resources? For decades people brought their own bags for shopping and it is common in most parts of the world; however, plastic bags now litter many places that were formerly litter-free. As the USA, shouldn't we be leading the world in cleaning up and using resources wisely? In forty years we have created a floating island of plastic in the Pacific which is setimated to be as large as Texas...is this the right thing to do because plastic is convenient? I challenge those of you who think that sustainable bags are not a good choice to try using them for a month. You may be surprised at how easy it is, and how the flat-bottomed sustainable bags carry easily, do not hurt your hand like that thin plastic handle does, and that you can develop the sustainable bag habit with less hassle than you predict.
We'll make sure to bring our reusable bag to carry home the plastic trash bags we'll have to start buying.
JLS, why are you taking a car to the store?! Don't you care about the environment. :-)
- An estimated 7 MILLION TONS of plastic waste is dumped in the ocean every year. Plastic bags and other plastic wastes choke almost 1 million marine animals.
- Americans generate more than 10.5 million tons of plastic waste every year, and they recycle only 2% of it.
At some point we have to think about how our actions impact the world we were given. This has nothing to do with "freedom".
At least the City Council gets it.
OK, but the citizens of Mountain View are not dumping 7 MILLION TONS of plastic waste in the ocean every year and choking almost 1 million marine animals. Nor are we generating more than 10.5 million tons of plastic waste every year, and recycling only 2% of it.
Council Members apparently just want to feel more important than they actually are. They should be running the city and leave the rest to the other levels of government.
Next they'll want to ban DDT or asbestos from schools. They might even try to regulate how fast we drive. Damn socialists!
I love everyone getting their panties in a bunch over this 1st world "Problem"
I feel sooooo sorry for all you poor poor people who's pleasure in life
hinges on something that wasn't even around until a some years ago.
Try to rise above this strife, you poor victims! I support you in your struggle.
You just don't get it, do you? People are using the bags for other things, such as trash bags. Now those people will purchase plastic bags in place of these bags. As I said before, banning plastic bags will not end the issue of trash. Idiots who dump in the ocean, creeks, streets, whatever, will still litter. Banning bags when our city has so many other issues going on is ludicrous. I'm not some "poor poor person whose pleasure in life" hinges on this issue. Your sarcasm shows that you aren't getting it. Our council is spending their time banning little things that in the long run will not alter how our city functions. In the meantime, we are being subject to more home invasions, break-ins, personal attacks downtown - you name it. They should be concentrating on how to make our city a safer place to live. What actions have they taken recently to achieve this? Have they shortened the hours that those lovely clubs downtown can stay open? No. This simple act might slow down the number of drunks who start fights. But, no, they allow this to go on. Do you really think that banning smoking in designated patios in the bars will help anyone? The smokers will now spill out onto the streets and parking lots, most likely drunk, and any of us who happen to be dining late will have the joy of running into them. And there is nothing to stop them from smoking as they walk down the street. Meanwhile, there seems to be a crime spree in our city. Yea, banning bags, drive-thru's and smoking is such a good use of our city council. Please pay attention to what is going on. Then maybe your sarcasm will be aimed where it should be aimed - our ineffectual city council.
I am glad to see that so many people get it! As I said in the council meeting, my concern is for those people that have families and will now be FORCED to buy paper bags at 25 cents each. That may not be much to the rich socialists that want to tell everyone else how to live and how we need to spend our money to enact their utopian fantasies, but to poor families with children, it makes a huge difference. If they have to buy 16 bags a week, that is $4 per week from that family's budget. At the end of the year, the family will have spent $208 just on paper bags!
I was shocked that Councilmember Bryant made light of my concern for the poor, but I guess that I should not have been considering that when speaking about the drive through ban and its possible effect for elderly people, she said that older people need to get out of their cars sometime
I myself reuse the 'one time use' plastic bags probably more than anyone on the council. I shop often at CVS and they PAY ME $1 for every four visits that I bring my own bag. This year alone I have done this 34 times! My argument has never been about whether or not it is something good to do, my issue is that yet again, the council wants to impose its morality on the rest of us and punish those that don't conform to the canons of the religion of environmentalism.
I saw a member of the council walking a dog on my street. I wonder how that member would feel if a future council banned ownership of dogs that can't be kept indoors? After all, people walk their dogs so the dog can poop in the neighbor's yards or on their sidewalks. Many people don't clean up after their dogs, therefore dogs must be banned! (At least that is in line with the current council-think).
Yes, people got along without plastic bags, but that was during a time when there were stores with fresh fruit vegetables and meat on every corner and people had time to shop daily. People also got along fine without City Councils, refrigeration, television, police and fire departments, cell phones, and indoor plumbing; why not ban those too?
Thank you for stating the obvious and standing up for those of us that are SANE. It's so reassuring to know that others realize the idiocy of the current city council. The items that they choose to ban are ludicrous and more people need to stand up and say what needs to be said. I just hope that the members of this idiot group read the comment section of their paper so that they can see how the majority of us are feeling. But I guess they are just following the party line - we have a current administration who wants to bring socialism to this entire country, so why not follow suit and do their small part to help the cause, right? Thank you again, and thank you for standing up in the meeting, even if they chose to ridicule you. It just shows how small minded they really are and outs them for who they are - socialists who want to control our lives. Start small and end up with bigger bans, just like you pointed out. Good for you!
And to jane,
I don't know what stores you were watching, but I have NEVER seen people dump their used plastic bags in the trash dumpster. The MANY people that I see with their plastic bags place them inside the designated recycle container at the front of the store. Could they have possibly been emptying the trash from their cars? Shame on them. They should have carried all of their trash in their hands and made as many trips as necessary so as not to spill their litter all over the sidewalk. Had they tried carry it all at once, it may have made it's way into our creeks and (gasp!) the ocean.
Some amazing comments from an informed crowd. Not surprised by the council actions. Most are just going with the political agenda of the environmental groups who want to impose their personal preferences on society. That's why all they can rehash is their propaganda.
@Jane and other proponents of the ban, I have no problem with your personal choice to not use plastic. I don't judge you, so don't condemn me if I have a different preference and want to sometimes choose something different than you. Show some tolerance for people that might be in a different socioeconomic status. Using a bag is a choice and does not harm the environment. If you are worried about litter, get the government to clean up their public lands.
"People are using the bags for other things, such as trash bags."
I don't so I can't assume how many other do, but it really isn't a big issue to me.
"Now those people will purchase plastic bags in place of these bags"
Not sure how you know this, but again, I won't, but it really won't affect my life either way.
"You just don't get it, do you?"
Apparently not the way you "get it"
But its obvious you didn't get the point of my post.
In any event, I now truly get it.
"Then maybe your sarcasm will be aimed where it should be aimed"
Interestingly enough, until your post, my sarcasm wasn't aimed an anyone in particular. Enjoy your important battle on this pivotal issue :)
just for the record - here is another voice against the ban.
I usually use cloth bags. Sometimes i forget and like the option to have bags.
The city/county/state government should NOT get involved.
I stopped shopping at Walmart when they banned plastic bags. I guess I'll stop shopping in Mountain View altogether if they pass this ban.
I say Jim Neal should run for City Counsel, we could use a breath of fresh air, rather then the regurgitating of socialist nanny members like Ron- it and the other nannies.
@Jane, What hole did you get those statistics from, they stink. Very unrealistic.
@puleez, I won't even comment on your emotionally wacked tirades.
What happened to the Americans who gave up gasoline, food, and other necessities in WWII and never complained about it? What happened to the people who saw the bigger reality that we are all in this - "this" being our species' journey on this planet - together and that we are not here to indulge our every comfort and whim? What I see on here are a bunch of spineless whiners who won't give up even the tiniest comfort or convenience without thinking it's a socialist or communist conspiracy. If that's true we're lost as a nation, for the day will come when giving up large entitlements we're used to will come: there's only so much oil, power, metal, etc. in the world and we're in no position to hoard it all. And the idea that giving something up means there's a communist plot going on is the most ridiculous at all. The freedom to waste resources, pollute the planet, and generally act like spoiled children isn't a "freedom" that our nation's founders fought for.
For those of you who keep crying "socialism", you really need to get a grip. You have no idea what it is beyond what False News tells you. And that's just made up by them to scare little babies like yourselves. There's far more socialism going on in the most successful and happy countries in the Western world than you know of, and it's working well to keep their economies humming along, their people happy, and the gross travesty of Social Darwinism that says that if you're poor, you're defective from infecting their societies with hatred and conflict.
The next time you cry "socialism", remember that those who know what it is are laughing at you.
So are you saying that unions and public workers will start giving up entitlements? I bet there would be plenty of whining if that were to start happening.
Seer, you are just making my point for me. We don't want to be part of the collective. As far as those socialist countries that are doing so great, they all have 15-20% permanent unemployment, and the Super Model of Socialism, Greece, is completely bankrupt. The citizens do not exist to service government, it is the other way around. Also my wife recently moved here from one of those happy socialist countries you value so much and she has told me what really goes on there. If you had to live there I doubt you would like it!
Your WWII argument is equally ridiculous as we are not at war with Japan, Germany or any other country in a fight for our very existence.
Also, there is an abundance of fossil fuels to go around. A decade ago, people were saying there was a shortage of Natural gas. Now we have so much, the price has dropped dramatically and they are worried about how to store it all. Also, even if as is claimed by people who hate that the US is prosperous, the US uses 20-25% of the worlds resources, we also outproduce the every other country on the planet by at least a 3-1 margin as shown here:
We pay the world a premium price for the resources we BUY (not steal) from them and everyone prospers.
By the way, who said they wanted to have freedom to 'waste' resources? Did you even read what I wrote? How many times have YOU taken your bags to CVS or another store to reuse them?
It's funny how some people love Darwin when it comes to bashing religion and hate him when it comes to economics.
I think they should ban jock straps next. It would make for a lot more freedom.
Isn't there more to this story? Why did the different city governments all suddenly decide it's their duty to save the planet? The term "City Staff" is featured heavily in this article. Anyone ask what their real interest in this is? Perhaps there's federal grant money at stake?
My city council is worrying about plastic bags while they are paying 10 retired city employees more than $100,000 a year each to enjoy their retirement. Was it 4 million dollars a year to 32 retirees? I wish my friends didn't have to move away because they can't afford to live here after retirement.
My elementary school district wants me to pay them $300 a year for the rest of my life so that they can bulldoze classrooms that underwent MAJOR renovation 10 years ago (that you and I are still paying for) and put new 2-story classrooms on every elementary school campus, while 40% of our students start kindergarden not knowing how to say their ABC's, colors, or how to count to 10 in English. I wish someone would give me money to fix up my 60 year old, 1000 sq foot bungalow.
My federal government wants to pour my tax dollars into destroying and then rebuilding countries in the Middle East that are sitting on top of "our oil" instead of putting money into creating energy from sun and wind, which would also create jobs. I wish I could buy an electric car.
Those who make decisions about how to spend my money seem to have their priorities backwards.
I'm a lifelong liberal, progressive Democrat, but am really starting to understand why people like Ron Paul.
Is all this because of that stupid plastic bag that has been stuck in that tree on medium on Grant Road for the last three weeks? Why doesn't someone from the city council just get a ladder? Geesh!
I've disliked the plastic bag concept from the beginning because there was no equal excitement for disposing of them at the time. Grow hemp, make cloth hemp reusable and hemp paper bags. It is a drought resistant plant which will help the environment and is inexpensive to maintain, and the clothes made from hemp are softer than cotton, if you can imagine that.
@Seer: one word: Greece
@Jane: your numbers are way off. The stats you quote include not only the particulate, but the water column. The actual amount of plastic is orders of magnitude less
How about facts? Just what bags are we banning? Will my "chicken juice" soak into my broccoli?? Will it soak my paper bag allowing the chicken to escape into the parking lot?
How does the proposed ordinance help sanitation or is this even an issue?
Dennis Rochstroh, in the Merc, let it slip that S.J.'s ordinance applied to bags with handles; wow! Information!
What percentage of the landfill do plastic bags represent?? What percentage are recycled [I hear that they are emptied at the dumpsite]? Where do the bags in the creeks [I don't see them] come from? I see leftovers from take-out places, not grocery stores.
The latest Voice has several people saying "well, maybe...".
I learned "Who, what, where, when, why"; we are getting "how do you feel about that". Not adequate.
I haven't taken the time to read the many comments already posted here, but simply want to say that I THINK THE BAG BAN IS A BAD IDEA.
The bags I get from the places where I shop are recycled by using them to carry other things.
If stores are not allowed to provide plastic bags or their equivalent, do you think they'll pass on their savings from not having to buy them? And we'll have to spend more when we buy bags to use in place of those we're used to getting for free.
The Voice ran some excerpts from this thread in the paper edition. Wouldn't you know that they only picked the few supporting this idiotic ban. The reporter, Mr. Debolt, is a pretty straight shooter but it is obvious that the editor, Ms. Gemmet, has a left wing-environut agenda that overrides whatever objectivity she may have had. That's too bad because previous editors were better.
Oh well, I will go back to reading the Palo Alto Post, which is more objective.
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