Town Square

Plastic Bag Ban All About the MONEY!!!

Original post made by Jim Neal, Old Mountain View, on Oct 29, 2012

The Truth about the Plastic Bag Ban


Jim Neal, Candidate, Mountain View City Council

For months I have been wondering why many cities in California were so anxious to ban plastic bags when there are so many other things that are much worse offenders when it comes to polluting the environment. Strangely enough, I found the answer from a quote given by a SUPPORTER of the ban in this article from the Wall Street Journal:

Web Link

Daniella Dimatrova Russo wrote the argument in favor of the ban and quotes many reasons why plastic bags are evil. But hidden deep in her treatise on the subject is the following:
“Companies that manufacture reusable bags will continue to grow and diversify their product lines, and will create more green jobs. The sale of reusable bags will also generate sales-tax revenue—unlike the disposable bags, which are given away.”

And there you have it ladies and gentlemen! The REAL REASON the cities want to ban plastic bags is MONEY!!!! The cities expect to make tons of money from the sales taxes that will be generated from the sale of so-called “reusable bags”. I am sure that they most likely intend to use the new revenues to pay for their exploding deficits that are due to the extremely generous salaries, benefits, and pension programs that have bankrupted several cities already and forced San Jose to take the extreme measure of passing a pension reform measure on the ballot this past June:

Web Link

I actually took the time to attend the Board of Supervisors meeting in San Mateo last Tuesday and I was shocked to see that they were so blatant about the fact they had already made up their minds on the issue, they didn’t even bother to hide it. The agenda for the Final Program EIR actually stated as one of the items 5.3.C “Approve resolution”. Mind you, this was BEFORE the hearing on the Final Program EIR was held!

I even brought evidence from the U.K Environment Agency (similar to our EPA) study Web Link which shows that a so-called reusable bag has to be used a minimum of 131 times before it has the same carbon footprint as a so-called “single use” plastic bag and while I am sure that none of you ever reuse your plastic bags and simply throw them in the trash after you bring home your groceries, I reuse my “single use bags” hundreds if not thousands of times. I keep them until they become soiled or too damaged to reuse.

But then again, maybe the county and the cities are right. After all, we know how environmentally irresponsible people in the Bay Area are. None of you can be trusted to be responsible with something as deadly and destructive as a plastic bag. You’re all too lazy to even consider reusing them! In two hours I came up with 101 ways to reuse the “single-use” plastic bag, but the county and the cities know that none of you can even think of one! We are really fortunate that we have them to tell us what to do and to take care of us. After all, can you imagine how horrible life would be if we had to think for ourselves and were responsible for our own actions?


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Posted by PlasticMan
a resident of another community
on Oct 30, 2012 at 10:49 am

Hi Jim...
I think you totally misunderstood the issue.
Plastics are really a cause for environmental disaster.
They do not or take so much time to decompose.
Cities earning money from sales tax from re-usable bags or any items sold in stores is normal business practice. Proceeds go to city projects like school development, street cleaning, police service etc that you and your family can benefit from. You may want to focus your concern to the stores that sell them. Ask them to provide it to their customers for free if you feel cheated about the REAL REASON for banning plastic bags to the ladies and gentlemen of cities in California.

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Posted by Dave
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 30, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Jim, thanks giving everyone solid evidence that you should never be elected to any office, and especially not Mountain View city council. You simply don't understand that this is an environmental issue, and nothing else.
Yes, I am a resident of Mountain View, and would not vote for you ever ....

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Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 30, 2012 at 11:05 pm

Hi PlasticMan,

While I respect your views and your comments, I do have to ask if you went through the extensive documentation that I provided via the web links. The UK study is very comprehensive and deals with the global warming aspects of the manufacture, transportation, and maintenance of the reusable bags. My argument has nothing to do with whether or not it is a normal business practice to obtain tax money from items that are sold in stores, my issue is that this plan is being sold to us as something that is good for the planet when it will actually have the opposite effect.

The report from the UK and other reliable sources are being ignored in favor of something that will coincidentally put more money in the pockets of the cities and at the same time, deny yet another choice to the people. If the cities need more tax revenues, they can follow the law and put an initiative on the ballot. To me, this appears to be a back door way to get around that requirement.

-- Dave,

To you my good friend, I want to say that who you vote for is entirely your choice. I am sorry that it is not enough for you that I recycle my single use bags hundreds of times and dispose of them responsibly. This is much more than an environmental issue, it is an issue of whether you get to make the choice of what products and services you use or whether those choices are imposed upon you by those who are elected to City Council or other offices. Voting is a right that grants us all a voice and we have a civic duty to elect those that we believe will best represent our interests. I know that not everyone will agree with my views and I don't expect them to, but at least I am one candidate that is not afraid to say what I think. I don't give political answers. I make the same offer to you that I make to everyone else who disagrees with me: If you want to have coffee somewhere to talk about your views, I am certainly open to it.

Jim Neal

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Posted by Voter
a resident of Castro City
on Oct 31, 2012 at 6:33 am

Thanks, Jim. I for one am glad you are not one of those candidates that just says what they think everyone wants to hear and then just caters to special interests. That's how we got the current disaster that is going up at San Antonio Plaza. You got my vote.

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Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 2, 2012 at 1:18 am

Thanks Voter! I hope I get the opportunity to make a real difference in this city!