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Paper, plastic or bring your own (California Shopping Bag BAN)
Sacramento Bee ^ | 8/26/08 | Anon

Posted on 08/26/2008 6:19:16 AM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom

California, with its long coastline littered with white bags, needs a better approach, one that encourages people to make informed choices between disposable and reusable bags. Here are the options:

• A piecemeal, voluntary approach by stores.

• A hard-line approach, such as a ban.

A simple, market-based solution: a consumption tax. Ireland has taken this route. Since 2002, consumers who forget to bring a bag are charged a 15-cent tax at checkout. Before the tax, Ireland's 3.9 million people used 1.2 billion bags per year. Now it's 230 million. About $9.6 million was raised from the tax in the first year, earmarked for a fund for environmental projects such as recycling refrigerators.

A bill before the California Legislature would adopt Ireland's market-based approach. Beginning in January 2010, Assembly Bill 2769 (by Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, D-Van Nuys) would require California stores to collect a 25-cent tax on all disposable bags, paper or plastic. Stores would get 5 cents for every plastic bag and 10 cents for every paper bag. The balance would go to a Bag Pollution Fund to clean up the litter caused by single-use carryout bags and encourage the reduced use of single-use disposable bags.

The bill has the support of the grocery and retail industries, which currently subsidize the use of disposable bags.

AB 2769 would provide shoppers with a choice: Bring reusable bags or pay the true cost of a disposable bag. That should shift market behavior – and help the environment, too. The Senate should pass AB 2769, and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger should sign it.

(Excerpt) Read more at sacbee.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: bag; envirokookism; environment; envirowhackos; kooksrunamok; losangeles; shopping
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Yee Gods, another insatiable demand from runaway, out-of-control government with even more intrusion into and control of every aspect of our lives.

Have you noticed how leftists now couch all their totalitarian initiatives as "simple, market based" and as "consumer choice" as a way to fool us sheep?

1 posted on 08/26/2008 6:19:18 AM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
I understand your sentiment but sometimes, a good idea comes along.

If charging lazy people for not bringing their own shopping bags helps stem the tide of refuse we generate everyday, that ain't necessarily a bad thing.

Though, it should be something the stores do without the Gubmint getting in on the act.

2 posted on 08/26/2008 6:22:54 AM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (Conservatives say, 'Seeing is believing.' - - - Liberals say, 'Believing is seeing'.)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
I'm okay with a tax on this. The fact is that there are many public costs associated with litter from grocery bags - it becomes a use cost. If you contribute to the problem (using plastic bags), you contribute to the solution (paying to clean them up). However, rather than a “We have spoken” outright ban, those who really want to continue to use these bags are free to do so, they'll just pay a premium at it. The cynical part of me thinks that many of these funds would go into the general pot - that, IMHO, defeats the purpose.
3 posted on 08/26/2008 6:24:59 AM PDT by thefrankbaum (Ad maiorem Dei gloriam)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

We are required to put our garbage in plastic bags. I use my grocery bags. So now I have to go out and buy garbage bags?? This is a marketing scheme....and it’s stupid.


4 posted on 08/26/2008 6:26:25 AM PDT by Sacajaweau (I'm planting corn...Have to feed my car...)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
Why doesn't government just go ahead and make everything illegal? It would make things a lot simpler that way.
5 posted on 08/26/2008 6:28:01 AM PDT by SoCal Pubbie
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

If charging lazy people for not bringing their own shopping bags helps stem the tide of refuse we generate everyday, that ain’t necessarily a bad thing.

Lazy? I actually like getting the plastic bags from the store so that I use them as garbage bags.


6 posted on 08/26/2008 6:32:34 AM PDT by napscoordinator
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To: SoCal Pubbie
I'm sorry, sir - your attitude has been determined to be illegal.

Please step over to the window and pay the "speech with attitude" assessment.

;-)

7 posted on 08/26/2008 6:34:34 AM PDT by an amused spectator (Wikipedia: The Truth Was Out There, but it was reverted...)
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To: napscoordinator

I do the same thing — use plastic bags as garbage bags. And I’m already green — I have green eyes. :-)


8 posted on 08/26/2008 6:36:07 AM PDT by GOP_Lady
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

Those d@mn flimsy plastic grocery bags are all over the place around me - stuck to signs on the side of the roads, in the weeds, up in the trees, all in the woods around the river and everywhere else. They’re a mess and an eyesore. It costs me tax money for Public Works to clean them up. As far as I’m concerned this falls under the heading of “even a stopped clock is right twice a day.”


9 posted on 08/26/2008 6:36:38 AM PDT by RonF
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To: SoCal Pubbie
Why not make everything illegal? We're heading that way anyway and not enough people are speaking up.
10 posted on 08/26/2008 6:37:10 AM PDT by GOP_Lady
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

Plastic bags I receive at the grocery store are recycled by taking the bags to the local food bank. The food bank is always looking for more plastic bags.


11 posted on 08/26/2008 6:37:56 AM PDT by upchuck (Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about. (nObama))
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To: thefrankbaum

But I reuse the bags as trash bags.


12 posted on 08/26/2008 6:39:24 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: thefrankbaum
These funds are for the purpose stated or other purposes.
So if one cent goes to clean up its not fraud.
13 posted on 08/26/2008 6:41:23 AM PDT by svcw (There is no plan B.)
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To: Sacajaweau

The stores I go to, give us the bags. Keeping them in the car and bringing them to the store is stupid....how?


14 posted on 08/26/2008 6:42:57 AM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (Conservatives say, 'Seeing is believing.' - - - Liberals say, 'Believing is seeing'.)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

“California, with its long coastline littered with white bags,”

I question that statement. I live near the coast in CA and don’t see grocery bags littering it. We use each bag at least two or three times, for lunch (carrying, NOT eating) and to line small trash containers.


15 posted on 08/26/2008 6:44:11 AM PDT by pelicandriver
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts
Japan had an even better solution and the government didn't get involved. Some discount stores (similar to Aldi's in the U.S.) charged for the bags. Others (such as Daiei) stamped a card when the customer declined bags. When the card was full, the customer traded it in for a gift certificate from the same store.

We usually took the bags when we were doing bulk shopping, but declined them when we were making the mid-week purchases of fresh produce and milk. This gave us the bags we needed to collect trash, but still helped us cut down on the use with the small incentive offered by Daiei.

16 posted on 08/26/2008 6:47:42 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Are there any men left in Washington? Or, are there only cowards? Ahmad Shah Massoud)
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To: napscoordinator
I actually like getting the plastic bags from the store so that I use them as garbage bags.

Not talking about HDPE plastic bags. The bags I speak of are a woven synthetic material that have handles. They fold up flat to the size of a paperback, unfold to about 1'x1'x2' and hold a lot of weight.
The one I use at my local wine merchant is compartmented and they gave it to me gratis as long as I bring it back to use for carrying my purchases.

I know the HDPE plastic bags we're used to are handy for trash, etc....but what did we do before we had them...say 1970?

17 posted on 08/26/2008 6:48:41 AM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (Conservatives say, 'Seeing is believing.' - - - Liberals say, 'Believing is seeing'.)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

How the heck is a tax a “market-based approach”?

It is a “government-revenue-based approach”.


18 posted on 08/26/2008 6:49:55 AM PDT by MortMan (Those who stand for nothing fall for anything. - Alexander Hamilton)
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To: Vigilanteman

Awesome. That’s what I call thinking.


19 posted on 08/26/2008 6:50:04 AM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (Conservatives say, 'Seeing is believing.' - - - Liberals say, 'Believing is seeing'.)
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To: AppyPappy
That's good - do you have a problem paying 25 cents for a bunch of trash bags? I use the bags to carry my lunch into work. It is no different from recycling your cans (in a deposit-free state) - you pay for the cans as a function of the price of the good, and you get nothing back for doing the right thing.
20 posted on 08/26/2008 6:50:55 AM PDT by thefrankbaum (Ad maiorem Dei gloriam)
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To: svcw
Agreed, but that can easily be changed with an amendment. If the funds raised from this go to a pot dedicated solely for clean-up of plastic litter, I'm content. If the state starts to use it as a revenue source, we're gonna have problems.
21 posted on 08/26/2008 6:52:16 AM PDT by thefrankbaum (Ad maiorem Dei gloriam)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
A simple, market-based solution: a consumption tax Love how the looney left just love to throw in a tax whenever they can. I think I pay enough in taxes as it is.
22 posted on 08/26/2008 6:52:51 AM PDT by claymax ("Remember upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all." Alexander the Great)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

Paper.


23 posted on 08/26/2008 6:54:15 AM PDT by Jaded (does it really need a sarcasm tag?)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts
If charging lazy people for not bringing their own shopping bags helps stem the tide of refuse we generate everyday, that ain't necessarily a bad thing.

Why do you assume that people who justifiably hate the bag tax are lazy? What if somebody just doesn't believe the enviromentalist nonsense about plastic bags destroying the planet? Landfills run deep.

24 posted on 08/26/2008 6:55:12 AM PDT by Junior_G
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To: RonF

It must be something in the water where you live. One thing I do not see up in the People’s Republic of Washington are plastic bags littered around everywhere; and our stupid bag tax hasn’t even been implemented yet. Of course, that didn’t stop “bag pollution” from being used as an argument toward our 20-cent per bag tax that recently got passed. The way these folks talk, it’s a wonder they can get to their car in the morning through the sea of discarded plastic bags that they’re forced to machete their way through.


25 posted on 08/26/2008 6:59:12 AM PDT by Junior_G
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

can I bring my bags back to the store and get my deposit back?


26 posted on 08/26/2008 7:00:28 AM PDT by woollyone ("When the tide is low, even a shrimp has its own puddle." - Vance Havner)
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To: Junior_G

Maybe so, but the bottom line is that the implementation of the use of those plastic bags around me actually does cost me tax money because of the extra work that is expended in cleaning them up. So on that basis it’s legitimate for the government to collect money for their use.

Now, it makes more sense to me to tax the grocery stores handing them out. Leave it up to the grocery stores to determine if they’ll eat the tax or pass it along to their customers.


27 posted on 08/26/2008 7:11:00 AM PDT by RonF
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
The bill has the support of the grocery and retail industries, which currently subsidize the use of disposable bags.

Isn't the bag cost included in the price of the goods the store sells, just like salaries, utility costs, taxes and every other expense the business incurs?

28 posted on 08/26/2008 7:19:23 AM PDT by jrp
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To: SoCal Pubbie
Why doesn't government just go ahead and make everything illegal? It would make things a lot simpler that way.

And tax what is legal.

Not too long ago, I heard a comedian say, "If the democrats could catch you in the act, they'd tax masturbation."

29 posted on 08/26/2008 7:25:00 AM PDT by Cobra64 (www.BulletBras.net)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

First thing hubby said-screamed to me in fact-yesterday on hearing this...

We’ve gotta get out of this state!

I thought he was hollering about yet another stupid gun control law like microstamping or the smart gun.

All the things that need fixing and they’re suggesting something as idiotic as this?

No wonder our state is broke.


30 posted on 08/26/2008 7:27:01 AM PDT by Califreak (Time to give the empty suits a one way ticket to the cleaners!)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
California, with its long coastline littered with white bags

You know, I was down there last month and didn't see that litter.

31 posted on 08/26/2008 7:31:20 AM PDT by sionnsar (Obama? Bye-den! |Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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To: thefrankbaum
The cynical rational part of me thinks that many of these funds would go into the general pot
32 posted on 08/26/2008 7:35:33 AM PDT by sionnsar (Obama? Bye-den! |Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts
I know the HDPE plastic bags we're used to are handy for trash, etc....but what did we do before we had them...say 1970?

Kraft paper. Useful for many things.

33 posted on 08/26/2008 7:38:25 AM PDT by sionnsar (Obama? Bye-den! |Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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To: pelicandriver

People in california are a little slow they haven’t heard of biodegradable plastic yet(UPS uses it in shipping)


34 posted on 08/26/2008 7:39:24 AM PDT by Vaduz (and just think how clean the cities would become again.)
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To: thefrankbaum

There is no plastic bag problem in my neck of the woods (Simi Valley), nor in my parents’ (Malibu). I pay a private company for my waste removal.

Why stop with plastic bags? I’ve seen candy bar wrappers, Doritos bags, etc... on the Freeways more than I’ve seen plastic bags.

I’m sure you’ll support a tax on those as well.

It frosts me to think that we get charged the stupid CRV on bottles and cans. They all end up in my Recycling Bin. Just a way for the government to make more money off of us. Has nothing to do with being green. And they have the gall to put the CRV value BEFORE tax. So they collect taxes on the damn CRV as well.

This is all a scam folks.


35 posted on 08/26/2008 7:41:40 AM PDT by rom
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To: jrp
Isn't the bag cost included in the price of the goods the store sells, just like salaries, utility costs, taxes and every other expense the business incurs?

Of course not. There's a special "Employees 'Voluntary' Bag Fund" that all workers 'contribute' to. It's used to purchase the stock of bags used at the checkout counters. All Senior Management is exempt so the burden only falls on the lowly peons. I guess you never worked in the grocery industry, so it's easy to understand why you never heard of this fund.

36 posted on 08/26/2008 7:45:14 AM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

I go to a Sam’s store and get my purchases in a cart without any bags or boxes. Next door at Walmart I get everything put in small plastic bags, too many to count. At a regular grocery store I have a choice of paper or plastic. On my last trip the “sacker” didn’t know the difference between paper and plastic, the checker had to explain it to him. She also had to show him how to double sack.

I’m sure that the stores would approve of anything that brought them more money. A fee for sacks? I can just imagine each can or box in a sack of its own.

A few stores have a place to dispose of used plastic bags. That helps responsible people dispose of the bags.


37 posted on 08/26/2008 7:45:48 AM PDT by FreePaul
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

I just told you. Our dumpster is full of garbage in the used plastic grocery bags.


38 posted on 08/26/2008 7:45:56 AM PDT by Sacajaweau (I'm planting corn...Have to feed my car...)
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To: RonF
Those d@mn flimsy plastic grocery bags are all over the place around me - stuck to signs on the side of the roads, in the weeds, up in the trees, all in the woods around the river and everywhere else. They’re a mess and an eyesore. It costs me tax money for Public Works to clean them up. As far as I’m concerned this falls under the heading of “even a stopped clock is right twice a day.”

You are assuming that the tax money collected would actually be used to clean them up.... the government doesn't have a very good record in this regard.

If they were really serious about cleaning them up, they might offer a bounty on them, the way they did for bear or wolf skins.

That did work pretty well, as I recall, and it made compliance voluntary, which I think is a key part of the liberty we are supposed to have in this country.

39 posted on 08/26/2008 7:46:53 AM PDT by Red Boots
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To: rom
...I’ve seen candy bar wrappers, Doritos bags, etc... on the Freeways...

I have a neighbor, a really nice guy, who doesn't officially run his business from his house but his employees gather there often during the day. The neighbor is from a Central American Country and all of his employees are from south of the border. When they have a sandwich, candy bar, bag of chips, etc. they drop the wrapper or container where they stand. Cans, bottles, cups the same when they finish. It must be a cultural thing since another neighbor from south of the border does the same thing.

I know others can be just as bad but my yard didn't look like a dump site before these people moved here. Cleaning up trash is part enforcement and part education. Don't know how we get the education part in play.

40 posted on 08/26/2008 7:57:43 AM PDT by FreePaul
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

By your reasoning, a city with a broken sewer system would be within its rights and fulfilling its responsibility to the public by restricting the amount of food you consume and the days you can do it.


41 posted on 08/26/2008 8:14:35 AM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: thefrankbaum

Somehow everybody seems to think that it is litterers who carelessly toss these plastic bags out windows, on their lawns and yours, carry them to beaches and float them off like message bottles and such; the reality is that sloppy trash disposal allows the majority of these flimsy sail planes to escape from the confines of the trash trucks as they collect at houses and businesses and then dump their loads in improperly maintained landfills.

In reality the blame largely lies with the people who run the trash system but they would rather find a new source of revenue to cover their own added costs than to better run the collection and disposal of these plastic bags.


42 posted on 08/26/2008 8:20:31 AM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: FreePaul

I hear you. The contractors I’ve used on our home (kitchen remodel, bathroom, and floors) has been quite mindful of cleaning up after themselves.

On the other hand, our neighbor has had people redo their driveway. They’ve drank beer and dropped cans in OUR yard.

No government tax fazes folks like these. It just affects the VAST MAJORITY of those of us who are law abiding as usual!

I say that most people are quite respectful, do not litter and put their trash where it belongs. There’s a very small percentage of the population that are jerks as usual.

It’s the same argument that the gun grabbers use ultimately. Some people will commit crimes with a gun. So because of those criminals, the rest of us law abiding types will suffer.

While the criminals continue to commit crimes undeterred by it all.


43 posted on 08/26/2008 8:21:12 AM PDT by rom
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
One need read no further than this: Bring reusable bags or pay the true cost of a disposable bag.

A. What, exactly, IS the "true cost" of a disposable bag?

B. Who determines said cost? The Sierra Club? As if we'd BELIEVE them??

C. Since the "disposable" bags are recyclable, is their use really a "cost" or is it ultimately a benefit?

Why not rather put a nickle return value on each one, like with glass bottles and aluminum cans?? The folks would bring thhe bags back and dispose of them at the stores, and the bums would self-enlist as the California Bag Recovery Team to pick up any strays.

It's worked so well with aluminum cans that suburban areas have occasional problems with the homeless coming through in the early morning hours on trash day raiding people's recycle bins for them.

So why not plastic bags, too?? It'd be far and away preferable to yet another damnable tax with a high-minded name, and an infernal final disposition.

44 posted on 08/26/2008 12:21:03 PM PDT by HKMk23 (LIGHTS ON FOR DRILLING NOW! ...and wind, and solar, and nuclear, 'cuz it's not "either...or".)
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To: rom
No easy alternative for product wrappers - clearly, there are a number of alternatives available for carrying groceries home. For deposits (I'm assuming that is what a CRV is), you aren't required to put them in your recycle bin. If you're too busy to go get your money back, I short on sympathy.
45 posted on 08/26/2008 2:25:49 PM PDT by thefrankbaum (Ad maiorem Dei gloriam)
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To: Old Professer
Personal experience has shown me that a lot of people are stupid with their use and disposal of these flimsy bags. I can see literally 10 of the outside my window in a city as I write this. I don't disagree that the trash disposal system is also to blame, but the bags wouldn't be in the landfills if people ceased to use them.
46 posted on 08/26/2008 2:29:31 PM PDT by thefrankbaum (Ad maiorem Dei gloriam)
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To: RonF
Those d@mn flimsy plastic grocery bags

I hate 'em anyway. They leak, the handles tear, they hurt your hands when carrying something heavy, they collapse in the car and spill the contents, causing stuff to roll around on the floor of the car. They're useless to reuse, except as filler when shipping something. I think they should be banned altogether.

47 posted on 08/26/2008 2:38:25 PM PDT by giotto
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To: giotto
"They're useless to reuse, except as filler when shipping something. I think they should be banned altogether. "

From your response I assume you (a) don't have a dog, or (b) don't walk the poor introverted critter.

More to the point, but off topic; remember when "they" were pushing plastic because it didn't kill trees?

Even more to the point; how come they make expensive (blue) tarpaulins that dissolve in 18 months but can't make a cheap grocery bag or six pack carrier that goes away in less than a millennium?

48 posted on 08/26/2008 2:50:29 PM PDT by norton
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To: norton
From your response I assume you (a) don't have a dog, or (b) don't walk the poor introverted critter.

No dog, but I do have a cat, and the grocery bags are useless for disposing of cat patties from the litter box. The litter (and worse) leaks through the holes in those lousy bags. They're worse than nothing, because you think you have the stuff contained, but then you have to clean up the floor where the stuff leaked through on the way to the garbage can.

49 posted on 08/26/2008 3:04:13 PM PDT by giotto
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To: thefrankbaum

Even if I drove (using gas — and more $$$ out of my pocket) to my nearest recycling center I would never get back the tax that was charged on top of the CRV.

As for product wrappers, there doesn’t have to be an alternative. As something like the California Redemption Value argument illustrates. All they need to do is have some petty tax on top for every product sold in a wrapper. We didn’t eliminate cans did we?

Regardless of the minutiae of these tertiary arguments that we can go back and forth on — the basic premise that the government can change behavior by taxing you 15cents for a grocery bag is bunk. And I think you know it.

All this is, is a way to collect revenue for the State. Even from those who are responsible with their garbage.

I would never have expected to argue these points on a conservative website. Plenty of people have come up with great alternatives (the bounty idea sounds wonderful) that fit the conservative mold better than just adding a “tax” to generate revenue that ends up in the general fund to go to some other socialist program.


50 posted on 08/26/2008 3:30:38 PM PDT by rom
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