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Original post made
on Jan 28, 2009
I am not sure I understand the arbitrary nature of a $0.25 fee?
I think that on one hand, if we really wanted to recover clean up costs we would have a study for the cost needed based on estimated reduction and income. On the other hand If we wanted to simply ban them because they are bad for the environment we should just openly say it and ban them.
As I see the environmental aspect of it, there are so many pieces of single use packaging film littered or going to landfill beyond shopping bags we are being the ostrich with its head in the sand thinking this will address anything other than a tax revenue. For example there other products being over looked that fall in to the same litter and landfill category that are greater in volume: bags that contain potting soil or mulch; the wrappers around a case of soda or bottled water; that plastic they wrap around boxes that are shipped in trucks; and so many other things that we see on the road that I doubt we will really make much of a difference in plastic waste with any version of a shopping bag law.
Maybe we have just green washed ourselves in to thinking we will make a difference because we really just want to feel good more than make a just difference.
Mountain View can't even synchronize its traffic lights for maximum fuel efficiency. Even New York City can do that. This fee is just another load of bovine excrement raising money for overpaid bureaucratic personnel out of the pockets of people who actually work for a living and have to compete in the real world.
The City Council's job is to run the city. If at the end of the day, they have some extra time, they can go save the world. That's fine, but they have to get their job done first. Have they fixed the sidewalks on El Camino? Have all the street lights work? Have enough police to deal with the rising murder rate?
No, no, and no, but the City Council is protecting the environment by raising taxes. Isn't that lovely.
Blame plastic all you want .. either way went it ends up in the landfill instead of recycled it's a problem. Paper is a bigger problem than plastic in the landfill. Read an interesting article from the SF Chronicle .. Web Link
"A 2003 survey commissioned by the California Integrated Waste Management Board estimated that plastic grocery bags represent 0.4 percent of the waste stream. Paper bags tallied 1 percent."
Since plastic bags are used much, much more than paper and still only amount to less than 1/2 the wast stream (how much weight and volume they take up) it would seem that to encourage paper would be foolish.
Just to clarify in response to the last post, the proposal aims to discourage both paper and plastic shopping bags.
They can go back to sipping lattes now.
After Kinney gave each member 71 single-sided pages of information, council member Mike Kasperzak said Kinney needed to "cut down on [paper waste" with his handouts.
At which point Kasperzak turned to the audience and said, "Am I right, people?" He then gave himself a high-five.
Instead of whacking people two bits-a-bag why don't we recycle more of the recyclable materials at the curbside than we do. Have you seen the list of things our recycling service doesn't recycle, that can be recycled? Paper and plastic shopping bags are re-usable and recyclable. If you charge me a quarter for a bag, I will just have to buy more plastic garbage bags to line my trash cans. Don't tell us this is about the environment.
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