San Fran Starts Its Plastic Bag Ban

At least this article doesn’t go down the climate change road

Attention San Francisco shoppers: Plastic grocery store bags are going, going, gone.

Starting Tuesday, large grocery stores in the city can no longer use the traditional plastic bags that are a staple of the supermarket checkout line, as a city ordinance passed earlier this year to ban the bags takes effect. (snip)

Stores that don’t comply face fines starting at $100 for a first violation. Penalties increase to $200 for a second violation in the same year and to $500 thereafter.

Stores can still use plastic bags so long as they are a special type that are compostable. Bags must now be made of at least 40 percent high-grade recycled paper, and many stores are using bags made from 100 percent recycled paper, Macy said.

Welcome to the Nanny State. Seriously

“Part of that habit is imposing the cost of convenience on customers and city governments,” said Mirkarimi, who added later that he is considering a “menu of possibilities” for further measures. He would not say what those are, though, because of the experience with the bag fee.

In other words, you are not smart enough to know what to do, so the government will tell you.

I must say, in fairness, that San Fran does have a point in banning plastic bags. They end up all over the roads and in the gutters, and

And then there is the giant patch of plastic floating in the Pacific Ocean that scientists are monitoring, estimated to weigh 3 million tons and cover an area twice the size of Texas. The patch is about 1,000 miles west of San Francisco, but plastic dumped in the ocean here can end up there.

That is very disturbing, and, as an environmentalist, I can see the reason to ban non-recyclable plastic bags. But is paper the answer? Now we are talking about killing lots and lots of trees, which is the reason the country went to plastic in the first place. Most are not recycled. On the other hand, they are biodegradable, and won’t end up in a ball in the ocean.

It’s a tough call. I see San Francisco’s point, but as a person who does not like government interferrence, I am torn. I know I do not dispose of the plastic bags like I should, but I will change my behavior. The question is, should government force it upon us? Are there some instances where government is supposed to insinuate themselves?

Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, The Virtuous Republic, Perri Nelson’s Website, Rosemary’s Thoughts, The Random Yak, guerrilla radio, Right Truth, The Populist, Leaning Straight Up, The Bullwinkle Blog, The Amboy Times, Big Dog’s Weblog, Conservative Cat, Allie Is Wired, third world county, DragonLady’s World, The World According to Carl, Blue Star Chronicles, The Pink Flamingo, Wake Up America, CommonSenseAmerica, High Desert Wanderer, and Right Voices, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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5 Responses to “San Fran Starts Its Plastic Bag Ban”

  1. David says:

    “tarting Tuesday, large grocery stores in the city can no longer use the traditional plastic bags…”


    “traditional” *LOL*

    Reminds me of how people speak of “traditional values” and such like. When a johnnie-come-lately like plastic bags can be viewed as “tradition” the nonsensical “traditional values” is revealed as the nonsense phrase it is. I only wonder when some “traditional values” political candidate will adopt the banning of plastic bags as a “challenge to traditional values” and spend a wealth of hot air bloviating about the collapse of society resulting from such a ban…

    Still, plastic bags are another example of the silliness of burning petroleum products in our cars: there are much better uses for that oil.

    Like plastic bags.

    (Of course, the meme that petrochemicals are a nonrenewable resource is coming under fire, recently. Quiet fire, granted–cos such research is anathema to greenies and petroleum execs alike. Still, the Earth may well not “run out of oil” for thousands of years, if ever, if some current research pans out as true… )

    ANd that massive plastic bag mass in the Pacific? Surely someone can think of a USE for all that? Treat if as a handy, solar-powered collection station and mine it for the petrochemicals if nothing else.

  2. Have some good points there, David.

    As far as the ball in the Pacific, I have to wonder why no one has, you know, tried to clean it up?

  3. Perri Nelson says:

    Isn’t it amazing that the “solutions” to our environmental problems proposed to us turn out becoming environmental problems themselves?

    Plastic bags were supposed to save trees… but the people that use them discard them like, well like garbage, and they aren’t degradable.

    Compact fluorescent lights are supposed to be good for the environment… they use less energy, yet that will come back to bit us too… they all contain a drop of mercury or they wouldn’t work. Our light bulbs will have to be disposed of in hazardous waste disposal.

    Government shouldn’t force anything like this on us. Eventually we’ll be told it was bad to use it, regardless of what it is.

    What government aught to do with regard to the plastic bags is enforce anti-littering ordinances. And maybe use the incarcerated victims of those brutal policemen to clean up things so we don’t have giant balls of floating plastic in our oceans.

  4. You got that right, Perri. The tree hugger solutions do tend to lead to other, and sometimes worse, problems.

  5. John Ryan says:

    Let’s put the lead back in the gasoline !!!

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