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No biz opposition to plastic bag ban plan

Original post made on Aug 3, 2012

If businesses oppose the proposal to ban plastic bags in Mountain View, it's not been obvious or apparent.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, August 3, 2012, 11:55 AM

Comments (28)

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Posted by Nick
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 3, 2012 at 1:03 pm

So we pay $10,000 for this study that finds "less than significant impacts", and yet people are still pushing for the ban.

Why did we even bother with the study if we aren't going to make decisions based on the results? Couldn't we have saved the $10,000?


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Posted by Jon Wiener
a resident of another community
on Aug 3, 2012 at 1:28 pm

I think there's some confusion about what the study meant by "less than significant impacts." As far as I understand the law, the study was only looking at negative environmental impacts of the ordinance. For example, an example of a "significant impact" would be dramatically increased use of paper bags. (Plastic bag manufacturers actually took cities to court to force them to do these studies for that reason). Big environmental benefits would not be considered "significant impacts" because they are not negative effects.


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Posted by Gracie Ahs
a resident of Castro City
on Aug 3, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Thanks John Wiener. As you can see its tough to act like you know what you're talking about if your point is only made with snippets of what was actually said and meant.
I'm glad the merchants are not put off by the idea. That was my biggest concern...the impact on small businesses.


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Posted by Aaron
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 3, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Nick--why do you keep posting the same incorrect information? Why don't you read the report for yourself?

As has been discussed, there are actually three areas that the study identified as significant:

The following is excerpted from Table ES-1 Summary of Significant Environmental Impacts, Mitigation Measures, and Residual Impacts of the County of San Mateo Single Use Bag Ban Ordinance Program EIR Executive Summary

"…
Impact AQ-1 With a shift toward reusable bags, the Proposed Ordinance is expected to substantially reduce the number of single-use carryout bags, thereby reducing the total number of bags manufactured and the overall air pollutant emissions associated with bag manufacture, transportation and use. Therefore, air quality impacts related to alteration of processing activities would be Class IV, beneficial.

Impact BIO-1 Although the Proposed Ordinance would incrementally increase the number of recycled paper and reusable bags within the Study Area, the reduction in the amount of single-use plastic bags would be expected to reduce the overall amount of litter entering the coastal and bay habitat, thus reducing litter-related impacts to sensitive wildlife species and sensitive habitats. This is a Class IV, beneficial, effect.

Impact HWQ-1 The Proposed Ordinance would incrementally increase the number of recycled paper and reusable bags used in the Study Area, but the reduction in the overall number of single-use plastic bags used in the Study Area would reduce the amount of litter and waste entering storm drains. This would improve local surface water quality, a Class IV, beneficial, effect.
…"


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Posted by Nick
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 3, 2012 at 2:50 pm

I see. Never mind.


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Posted by Seriously?
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 3, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Of course businesses aren't complaining. They are being told they get to take more money from me for doing the same thing I am already doing: taking home my groceries in a paper bag.

Sometimes, when you are buying raw meat, or ice cream on a hot day, having that plastic bag there to protect my produce from the other items in my shopping bag (reusable or otherwise) is really nice. But apparently I need the government to regulate this for me now? No thank you.

Stores should take a hint from Trader Joe's and reward consumers for bringing in reusable bags, rather than punishing them for not.

Thank you for pushing me one more step from Democratic to Libertarian.


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Posted by Priceline Negotiator
a resident of Castro City
on Aug 3, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Ha! Don't be so naive! You are absolutely paying for the bags each and every time you go to Trader Joe's. If you bring your own bag in, you get a rebate of sorts, but make no mistake about it, the bag charge has been priced into each and every item at Trader Joes. You just don't get an additional visible charge. It would be bad business not to price in the bags as its a part of their overall costs.


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Posted by George
a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 3, 2012 at 4:10 pm

If the govt. can "MAKE" you get health insurance ($2,000 + fine if you don't) then they can "MAKE" you get a 10 cent bag. Of course the merchants are NOT going to object... We just cut thousand of dollars per year from their costs.. We buy the bags, not Safeway.... DUH.....
I purpose that each customer when buying 10 or 20 items, ask/demand at the register that the clerk carry the items to your car..let them push the cart or carry the items one by one. This issue is insane.
Go to your local restraunt supply store (or local bar) and buy a roll of the bags for less than 1 cent per bag, and use them.. easier than buying a "re-usable" bag for a buck or two.

Keep in mind each of the City "fathers/mothers" in the coming election... VOTE NO on all of them... Stop this insane rush to a govt. controlled city.. Enuf of the left Wingers...

Bye George


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Posted by mom
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 3, 2012 at 7:55 pm

I reuse grocery bags for garbage. If they're banned, I will probably buy plastic trash bags to use for trash so I'm not really saving the world from more plastic, although I'd like to. Are there any good alternatives?


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Posted by gc
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Aug 3, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Consumers have been sold an extra payment in the name of being green.
Store have been giving 5c credit for some time if you bring a recyclable bag in. It was payment for making you a walking advertisement on which store you shop at. Other green tasks hidden in the consumer bill. Recycle old monitors. Who buys a CRT anymore but we still pay the disposal fee on an LCD. Freon cans $10 why? Health service charge in SF. Remember when the allowed us to recycle cans now it's plastic bottles.


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Posted by Aaron
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 4, 2012 at 9:38 am

The Voice article has been corrected:

"The proposed ordinance's draft environmental impact report, found at mvrecycle.org, finds beneficial impacts to water and air quality, as well as to wildlife and wildlife habitat. No significant negative impacts to the environment would be caused by the proposed ordinance, according to the EIR.

"The reduction in the amount of single-use plastic bags would be expected to reduce the overall amount of litter entering the coastal and bay habitat, thus reducing litter-related impacts to sensitive wildlife species and sensitive habitats," says the EIR.
...
This story corrects errors in the print edition."

So, yes..there are significant positive environmental impacts when this ordinance goes through. No red herrings.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of another community
on Aug 5, 2012 at 12:50 am

I cannot believe what the world has come to.

Banning plastic bags? Seriously? People have too much time on their hands. There are so many issues that are truly important in this world and instead some policy makers want to feel important and are therefore implementing bans and other nonsense.

The plastic bag ban may or may not even do anything. Let's focus on environmental changes that ACTUALLY MAKE SENSE. Furthermore, I don't really care about the environment personally. What I don't like is that these environmentalists are imposing their beliefs and priorities on me. I care about other issues, like poverty and education. Let's force everyone to donate 10 cents a week to a homeless shelter.

The bottom line is that how dare the government ban the use of BAGS in stores. I am living in the United States of America and I can't go to a grocery store and get my items bagged. I have to, on top of all the million stressful things already going on in my life, remember to bring bags with me everywhere I go. On top of the other regulations and rules and policies, kids to take care of, bills to pay, just trying to stay afloat...I now need to try to save the environment too. Great.

I can tell you that because these ridiculous people (those pushing for plastic bag bangs) are imposing their beliefs on me, I promise to spend more time behind the wheel polluting the air, not takng the time to recycle, and basically purposely trying to do as little as possible for the environment.

The government and these policy makers are out of their minds. First, a ban on plastic bags. WHAT IS NEXT? Pretty soon it will be a ban on cars, a ban on driving, a ban on eating certain types of foods... like I said, some people have too much time on their hands.


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Posted by Its OK, I'll care for you
a resident of Castro City
on Aug 5, 2012 at 6:34 am

I support the ban and thank the council for being able to think about more than one topic at a time. Sometime picking the low hanging fruit clears the path for a better total tree harvest. Without a clean environment to live in, no other problem will matter, so its nice we're not letting it get that way by creating simple solutions now, even if some don't care.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of another community
on Aug 5, 2012 at 9:12 am

I actually think it is humorous that people "care". You can "care" for me. But I guarantee you, this plastic bag ban will have absolutely no impact on either one of us. You are caring about a completely worthless issue. This is a great example of how people are trying to act important and make themselves and otheres FEEL like they are making some sort of difference. Again, ridiculous. Use some common sense.

You can go ahead and waste your free time supporting plast bag bans. I support those that actually make use of their time, however, and support causes that will make a real difference. If you think this will make a true difference, I honestly think you are delusional.


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Posted by Jon Wiener
a resident of another community
on Aug 6, 2012 at 5:55 am

Regardless of what the poster who misspelled my name posted above (and which I've asked the editor to delete), I am not familiar with any objective study that has made the absurd claim that plastic bags have "no environmental impact" at all.

Of course, bags have much less environmental impact than, say, travel and meat (especially red meat) consumption, and a ban is a very inefficient way to get at the impact bags do have. People opposed to it on those grounds should feel free to suggest alternative measures, rather than claiming that bags have no environmental impact.


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Posted by Otto Maddox
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 6, 2012 at 8:07 am

The headline of this article is misleading.

There was business opposition. It says so in the article.

And "strong" is a subjective term. It's still some opposition compared to the headline's use of the word NO.


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Posted by Seriously?
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 6, 2012 at 10:40 am

Hey Priceline Negotiator, unless the stores lower prices somewhere else when this goes into effect, they are in fact getting more money for the same services rendered. Now who is naive?

This is not the job of the government. It hurts me that they are wasting time and money discussing this when there are real issues with larger impact they could tackle.


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Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Aug 6, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Have any of you for one moment considered the environmental impact of these endless ever-expanding wars?


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Posted by Darin
a resident of another community
on Aug 6, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Re: "Are there any good alternatives?"

Not really. If you don't bag your trash, then some of it gets scattered around the neighborhood on trash pickup day.

We reuse plastic shopping bags as trash bags when we have them. But since we started keeping reusable shopping bags in the car, we don't always have plastic shopping bags on hand. So we use brand new plastic trash bags that we buy in bulk at Costco.

I wonder whether the EIR took that into account...


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Posted by ReusableBagLover
a resident of another community
on Aug 7, 2012 at 11:14 am

I am so happy Mountain View is jumping on board with the 50 other cities in California and most of the world by banning plastic bags.

I am sick of paying $25 million a year in litter clean up costs from my tax dollars. I am also sick of seeing plastic bags floating everywhere in trees and on the freeways!

Small businesses can finally save $1,000s of dollars monthly contributing to the idea that plastic bags are free.

Babies will no longer be in danger of plastic bag suffocation, a way bigger concern than ignorant reusable bag scare tactics.

I would much rather heat my home with the natural gas and run my car from the oil than use it to pollute the environment and carry groceries.

Everyone needs to suck it up bring their own bags!

Thank you Mountain View!


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Posted by ReusableBagLover
a resident of another community
on Aug 7, 2012 at 11:19 am

Correction: Small businesses can now save 1,000s of dollars monthly no longer having to contribute to the false notion plastic bags are free, because they aren't.


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Posted by Otto Maddox
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 7, 2012 at 12:06 pm

OK, someone dragged the "save the children!" card into the discussion.

Please tell me, and cite sources, how many children are killed by plastic bags each year.

I am certain it's not "a way bigger" concern. And no, I don't subscribe the "if it just saves one baby" notion.


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Posted by Martin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 7, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Classic Gov't overreach. Obviously the good citizens of Mountain View can't be trusted to conduct a private transaction between themselves and a private business we need gov't to come in and take away our freedom to plastic bags and add a charge to the cost of paper bags. Whatever happened to the gov't that govern best governs least. How long until they start regulating how many times you can flush your toilet per day, the temperature and length of your shower, or the number of light bulbs you have on at home. The Green Police indeed – and while you "Get your green on" kiss your freedom goodbye because you can't be trusted to make adult decisions. You will be treated by the nanny state as a child who does not know any better and needs to be told what to do by your Betters. You can't even be trusted to make the right choice in bags….


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Posted by Steve
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Aug 7, 2012 at 4:07 pm

We have an election in November, let's put it on the ballot. It's time for city government to listen to the citizens, instead of pretending to know what's best for us.


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Posted by Concerned Citizen
a resident of another community
on Aug 7, 2012 at 11:27 pm

It seems like they come up with some pretty outlandish stuff and everyone just follows along. Then everyone wonders why the rest of the country thinks we are weird.

If you have to pay for something that you didn't used to pay for
don't you have less money? And the store has more money? You
don't need to go to Bay Area schools to figure that out.

My reasonable alternative is to do what I do. Take the bags
back to the Safeway when you are done with them to be recycled.
Everyone wins.


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Posted by Concerned Citizen
a resident of another community
on Aug 8, 2012 at 12:26 am

You say to yourself, 15 cents a paper bag. That's not much. I might even agree with you. But it all adds up. 5 bucks increase in internet, 10 bucks increase in tv, 40 cents increase a gallon in 1 day, 5 bucks increase in garbage, 5 bucks increase in sewer, 8% increase in water. I could go on.

My question for all of you is in this economy is your money
coming in increasing as much or more as all these cost increases?


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Posted by LovingMtnView
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 11, 2012 at 3:03 pm

LovingMtnView is a registered user.

Well folks... there is a serious environmental problem with the plastic bags. If you don't like the ban, then what is YOUR solution?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 29, 2013 at 2:38 pm

The shopping bag ban is a huge pain - to businesses and consumers. I am an avid recycler and reuse paper and plastic bags, always. I never throw them away without using them for either loose paper recycling (in the case of paper bags) or garbage can liners (plastic bags). I also use plastic bags to carry my lunch. I am very concerned about the unsanitary nature of canvas bags, which are brought into the stores, filthy, full of raw chicken juice, broken egg remnants, etc., and then dragged over counters and handled by clerks who then handle other people's food. Mtn View City Council, do you even think this far ahead to realize how unsanitary this is? This also makes it much easier to shoplift, thereby driving prices up for the rest of us. You paper/plastic bag haters are a bunch of fools.


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