L.A. County Bans Plastic Bags, Forgets That Paper Is Not Climate Alarmist Compliant

Climate alarmism wasn’t mentioned in the LA Times story, yet, we all know that a good chunk of the reasoning to ban plastic bags is the aforementioned climahysteria

Enacting one of the nation’s most aggressive environmental measures, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to ban plastic grocery bags in unincorporated areas of the county.

The vote was 3-1, supported by Supervisors Gloria Molina, Mark Ridley-Thomas, and Zev Yaroslavsky, and opposed by Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich. Supervisor Don Knabe was absent.

The ban, which will cover nearly 1.1 million residents countywide, is to the point: “No store shall provide to any customer a plastic carryout bag.” An exception would be made for plastic bags that are used to hold fruit, vegetables or raw meat in order to prevent contamination with other grocery items.

So, three people have hosed 1.1 million. And they magnanimously are allowing stores to once again use paper bags, but, they have to charge ten cents (which the store keeps, so, the law supposedly doesn’t violate Prop 26.)

I do agree that people do not recycle plastic bags enough, and they are a problem in landfills and on the seas, yet, they are used way more than the elitists think. We use them as garbage bags for small trash cans. We use them to clean up kitty litter and dog poo. We use them as lunch bags. Cleaning up the inside of our cars. And so many other things, so, they do get used multiple times. Perhaps instead of penalizing people, they could think of a way to incent people to recycle more, say, at the grocery store. Most people are not going to play with the reusable bags they have to purchase, for many reasons, including the cost (hey, doesn’t that harm the poor?). Not too mention the high lead levels.

As for paper

One hundred million new plastic grocery bags require the total energy equivalent of approximately 8300 barrels of oil for extraction of the raw materials, through manufacturing, transport, use and curbside collection of the bags. Of that, 30 percent is oil and 23 percent is natural gas actually used in the bag-the rest is fuel used along the way. That sounds like a lot until you consider that the same number of paper grocery bags use five times that much total energy. A paper grocery bag isn’t just made out of trees. Manufacturing 100 million paper bags with one-third post-consumer recycled content requires petroleum energy inputs equivalent to approximately 15,100 barrels of oil plus additional inputs from other energy sources including hydroelectric power, nuclear energy and wood waste.

Oops. But, it makes some people “feel good” to ban plastic.

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10 Responses to “L.A. County Bans Plastic Bags, Forgets That Paper Is Not Climate Alarmist Compliant”

  1. Trish says:

    So tired of this crap.
    Yes, we do all use them over again, and I believe with the exception of kitty litter, I’ve used them for every example Teach cited. I reuse brown grocery bags for many uses as well.
    I reuse plastic water bottles (which I rarely buy, but refill often- despite the recent warning that they can leach carcinogens)
    Also, most of the grocery stores around me have a bin for recycling plastic bags. So even if you personally don’t reuse them, you can ditch them, supposedly safely.
    Now I hear that the canvas store bags, you know the reusable cloth bags, have been made in China and may contain unsafe materials. Great.
    Let’s stop all this over reaching please. You can’t teach stupid people who don’t want to learn, and even the halfway intelligent ones are already doing what they can to save the environment.
    Stop policing AND punishing the whole world for the faults of a few!!!!!


  2. gitarcarver says:

    It’s more than that, Trish.

    Plastic bags are make from recycled plastic, giving recycling one of the relatively few viable markets for its product.

    The amount of energy to make a plastic bag as compared to the cloth bags is much less. It has been estimated that the making of a cloth bag consumes more of the energy used in making all the plastic bags a person will use in a lifetime.

    Furthermore, the FDA has come out with a recommendation that the cloth bags be washed every time they are used to prevent cross contamination from foods. The energy to wash the cloth bags can make 50 more plastic bags.

    In other words, the cloth bags are just another environmental scam put forth by the wacko’s.

  3. I’d much rather use plastic than paper. But, it should be my choice, not The Governments.

  4. John Ryan says:

    GitarCarver of course failed to provide any links to his claims.Wacko is just what I would say to the claim that washing a bag uses the same amount of energy as making 50 plastic bags. What about the energy used because of the IMPROPER disposal of plastic bags? What does that cost us ?http://dnr.wi.gov/org/aw/wm/recycle/issues/plasticbagsfaq.htm
    Americans recycle 0.6% of their plastic bags vs almost 20% of paper bags .http://www.ncga.coop/newsroom/paper-or-plastic
    What MOST environmental wackos say is
    REDUCE first
    REUSE second
    and finally third
    Teach basing your debate on what fringe groups say is lame.
    The big problem with plastic bags is that they last far too long and are not properly disposed of, it is not their cost in energy

  5. I won’t disagree John (bet you weren’t expecting that!) about reuse and recycle, nor that they last way too long. As I wrote, I don’t like that they end up in landfills, not too mention the sides of roads, waterways, the oceans, etc. But paper, IMO, is worse. It doesn’t get recycled, though it does break down faster. From a strictly true environmentalist standpoint, I don’t like all the trees being cut down for them.

    What they need to do is incent companies to come out with bags that is truly biodegradable, use little energy and resources. And don’t have large amounts of lead in them.

  6. gitarcarver says:

    Uh, Ryan?

    Why do you think the very links you gave don’t mention cloth bags? Why do you think they all talk about use, reuse, and recycle of plastic bags as opposed to cloth bags?

    Don’t ya hate it when your own citations show how wrong you are?

  7. captainfish says:

    THE WHOLE REASON we went to plastic bags in the first place was because environmentalists were griping about the number of trees being cut down and the “waste” of not recycling them (when people were reusing them for a variety of uses not to mention holding all the newspapers they’d get and using them to haul said newspapers to the recycling station) and the paper does break down in no-time.

    We made jokes about given the choice of “paper or plastic?”. Now, we rarely have that choice, being only plastic now.

    And now, thanks to 3 people, 1 million people have once again had their choice taken BACK away from them again.

    What now, they are going to have to carry groceries home in their arms? Wagons? Those Plastic Baskets?

    If they were truly worried about the environment they would ban all bags and any type of containment system for food. They would ban all forms of food transportation altogether. THey would force the people to walk to the local farms and work for the food they need. The people could then carry the food home in their arms while wrapped in ……..

    … I was going to say fur, but, this is anti-fur California. and you can’t make clothes without petroleum…… unless you want to “spin” your clothing material.


  8. Speaking of fur, we had a customer the other day who was carrying a bag with PETA on it, and wearing a real leather jacket. Wharblgarble?

  9. Trish says:

    I actually like to use paper AND plastic, for each of my bags of groceries. Makes me feel warm and fuzzy, and I can pack a whole lot of groceries in each bag after my shopping trip. And on the second round of use they make great totes for odd jobs, like when I donate clothing to either my church or my local Good Will, or when I have food items to bring to a party or other event. Storing decorations and toys for the grandkids in the basement-the plastic keeps them dry and the paper adds strength. They are good for disposing of chicken or turkey carcasses safely in order to keep my dogs from getting into the birds. I could go on and on about the lovely uses of my double bags!

  10. captainfish says:

    “I could go on and on about the lovely uses of my double bags!”

    Are we still talking bout GROCERY bags???

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