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Council OKs plastic bag ban

Original post made on Dec 6, 2012

The days of plastic grocery bags in Mountain View are numbered. City Council members voted on Tuesday to ban the distribution of most plastic bags in Mountain View starting on Earth Day next year.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, December 7, 2012, 12:00 AM

Comments (8)

Posted by Unhappy, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 6, 2012 at 6:06 pm

This is a feel-good issue lacking real facts and support.

How many empty plastic bags lying in streets/creeks do MV people see on a regular basis? I've seen 1 or 2 in 10 years.

Maybe in some bigger cities and places with lots of homeless or very low income there is a problem - not in MV.

I thought we lived in a LIBERAL community that cherishes CHOICE and DIVERSITY - but looks like instead we have a city council that wants to force people to do things the way the council wants.


Posted by Sheryl, a resident of Monta Loma
on Dec 7, 2012 at 8:01 am

Thank you MV Council! I agree that the effects on wildlife are the critical issue, and properly functioning storm drain systems are vital as well. For those who really, really love their plastic bags, buy a box, and bring a couple of them shopping with you (like I do with cloth bags to avoid the automatic plastic bag default that is the norm now). Then you can still get what you want as an individual, but the overall community benefits of the ban will still be significant. It's an accommodation either way. This way just tips in favor of the environment.


Posted by Sparty, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 8, 2012 at 9:18 am

Good to see they're really on top of things. It only took about 3 months for the gang grafitti ON and around Castro school to be removed. Well over six months for the gang graffiti on a rock in the landscaping at Castro school


Posted by William Symons, a resident of Waverly Park
on Dec 10, 2012 at 9:09 am

To Unhappy:
YES there are extraordinary numbers of plastic bags to be found in drains, creeks, streets. Our family adopted a section of Stevens Creek several years ago, and the amount of bags that remained lodged stuck along the creek, only was a slight indication of how many have made it to the bay.

To this day, it is not profitable for community recycling centers to take plastic bags,, so there is no market, and no incentive to recycle.
Council Member, ex mayor Bryant, noted the obvious, the discovery of the vast dump of styrofoam and plastic found floating in the middle of the pacific. Do we ignore that? The public has proven they can't personally be responsible, nor business, so government must step in. I hardly see that action as BIG BROTHER stepping too far.


Posted by Howard Myers, a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 12, 2013 at 8:48 pm

The law of unintended consequences comes in to play here. The sign does not say you must wash your bag often to avoid the risk of cross contamination. But that's okay the city council feels better about itself, that's what counts. The references below are not some random blogger but from scientists.
Abstract:
Recently, many jurisdictions have implemented bans or imposed taxes upon plastic grocery bags on environmental grounds. San Francisco County was the first major US jurisdiction to enact such a regulation, implementing a ban in 2007. There is evidence, however, that reusable grocery bags, a common substitute for plastic bags, contain potentially harmful bacteria. We examine emergency room admissions related to these bacteria in the wake of the San Francisco ban. We find that ER visits spiked when the ban went into effect. Relative to other counties, ER admissions increase by at least one fourth, and deaths exhibit a similar increase. Web Link

These results indicate that reusable bags can play a significant role in the cross contamination of foods if not properly washed on a regular basis. It is recommended that the public needs to be educated about the proper care of reusable bags by printed instructions on the bags or through public service announcements. Web Link

You did not look very hard to find evidence of risk.


Posted by paper bags, a resident of Whisman Station
on May 14, 2013 at 12:41 am

The thing that doesn't make sense here in the arguments presented is the forced charge of 10 - 25 cents for paper bags. If single use plastic bags are a problem, then ban them, but I don't see a justification for charging a new paper bag tax. If businesses are willing to provide paper bags free of charge, that shouldn't be prevented by a law that supposedly is to address the "evil plastic bags".


Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Gemello
on Jul 31, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Ah, see, it's not about plastic bags in waterways. It's about how to come up with a reason to charge you 10 cents per bag. Otherwise, yes, explain why I now have to pay 10 cents for a paper bag at Trader Joe's, which always had paper bags? The bag law is a scam.


Posted by PA Resident, a resident of another community
on Aug 1, 2013 at 8:25 am

My family has just got back from vacation. We came back with every plastic bag we acquired. I reckon that with careful usage, I have enough to last until the next vacation.


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