Skip to comments.SF May Ban Plastic Grocery Bags
Posted on 03/08/2007 2:08:18 PM PST by Cagey
SAN FRANCISCO -- Paper or plastic won't mean the same for shoppers in San Francisco if some city supervisors get their way.
A proposal up for consideration next week would prohibit large grocers from using regular plastic bags. Supporters of the ban say the bags eat up fossil fuels, litter the streets and choke wildlife.
The measure would require grocery stores to offer only bags made of recyclable paper, plastic that can be turned into compost, or sturdy cloth or plastic that can be reused.
The proposed ban has the support of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. But it's opposed by the California Grocers Association as potentially doing more damage to the environment.
President Peter Larkin said confused consumers would wind up mixing biodegradable bags with regular plastic bags in recycling bins, thereby contaminating recycled plastic.
In New Mexico, dust devils are ranked by the number of Wal-Mart bags swirling around in them. 5 bags = an F5 dust devil.
During the summer I tie the white ones to low hanging branches in strategic spots in my yard. I don't like a lot of lights in the yard at night and the bags give me a bit of warning.
Imagine the look of horror on the faces of this new crop of protesters when they find out that the bubbles in soft drinks are CO2!
You mean these trees?
They adsorb carbon all right, that is, until they rot or burn.
The Horror. My Whole Foods only uses plastic bags in order to save the trees!! So I bought a stylist grocery carry bag decorated with the communist Frida Kahlo's image in rhinestones. Revenge is sweet.
It's an all around stupid idea. The reality of the situation is that both types of bags present ecological problems, recycling is a joke as most recycled goods take more energy than fresh harvest and creation, and most of the stuff you turn in for recyling winds up at the dump anyway. It's a law based on false assumptions to fix a crisis that doesn't exist and will do nothing more than add costs. Two of the reasons businesses like plastic bags is they condense better and are lighter, being able to ship more units in the same space and weight saves on shipping costs and fuel usage.
I have mixed feelings about this. I always ask for plastic bags at the grocery store because I re use them as trash bags around the house and in the car. But a friend of mine, after a trip to India, told me how areas of that country are littered with plastic bags. She said the trees and bushes are so full of plastic bags blowing in the wind that the scene is supernatural looking, especially at night.
The plastic bags my newspaper arrives in on rainy days is perfect for dog poo. It covers my entire arm. Of course, it was more satisfying, and fitting, before I cancelled my subscription to the Wash Post.
> That's pretty telling.
If you choose to believe so.
> Anything the increases government control of our lives
> smacks of leftism.
This doesn't increase government control of our lives. It's a regulation on commerce to restrict environmental degradation.
Seventeen years ago, Californians were churning out 3 lbs of garbage per day per person. Counties that were home to about half the population were projected to run out of landfill room within nine years.
Today, Californians are down to about 2 lbs each per day, and a third of that trash is staying out of the landfills by either being recycled or composted. As a result, running out of landfill space isn't projected to be a problem for at least the next 28 years.
I consider the government telling people they have to give up their land to make room for a landfill a far greater imposition than specifying recyclable or reusable grocery bags.
The funny part about that is the foam containers McD used weren't styrofoam and no CFCs (the supposed ozone layer killer, though the science on that is highly questionable) were produced or used in their manufacturing. The extra funny part is the plastic lined paper wrappers they replaced the foam boxes with takes 10 times as long to decompose in a landfill, thus this entire "ecologically friendly" change over was actually ecologically damaging.
You have a good point about paper bags. I use paper bags to pack up small cardboard boxes and sort paper for recycling. The plastic bags take up so little room as I save them up for recycling, that by their physical nature, are much handier.
The big question is how much fossil fuel is used producing all of the plastic bags in this country? Then you should ask, does it cost more in transportation costs to get the logs to the paper plants and the paper to the bag plants and the bags to the stores. It seems to me that paper by its weight factor would cost more to transport.
I think we should have a choice between paper or plastic. There are times I would want the convenience of plastic but then, there are times I want paper bags for my later household uses.
Actually they were chocking there chicken with them.
> thus this entire "ecologically friendly" change over was
> actually ecologically damaging.
Kind of like the idiotic MTBE fiasco.
I think you're trying to be funny...but places like the Salvation Army and Goodwill would love to use those bags, if they are clean.
Me, too! Two cats...kitty litter lumps!!
I don't mean to sound callous...but India, clean up your own mess!!!
Good for San Francisco! - The number of paper bags we can get out of one Giant Sequoia boggles the mind- and they're renewable!
Plastic bags are good for picking up after your dog. Wonder if the biodegradable ones will disintegrate when used for that purpose?
Of all the things San Francisco needs to fix, this is somewhere down several million in priority.
Paper is still better.
The story left out that this would only be for grocery stores that gross over $2 million/year.
I want paper bags made by mucus producing wasps........
Plastic is good keep keep around while traveling in case someone had to puke.
Also, the stores make blue ones and our recycling (aluminum, glass, plastic) goes in them. But we get more than we use. Not enough recycling or puking.
Way to ignore the facts. Neither paper nor plastic recycles well, paper bags are larger and require more shipments to get the same number of bags to the stores, and paper bags are heavier requiring more fuel be burned in a shipment. Exactly HOW is paper better? The only advantage it has is that when people disgard of it improperly it's not as mobile and won't go flying all over the place, but that entirely revolves around people littering so if people would just stop doing that paper's one "advantage" would go away.
Those "boobs" are polluting our landfills. Makes no green sense. Bags of silicone all over the place. Just awful!
i just got back from the grocery store tonight
and i always take my own canvas bags. i hate
all that plastic bag mess. i've had these bags
for about 15 yrs now. they are stronger, they
wash up easily and i tell the bagger to load
'em up! they're much stronger than anything at
the grocery store.
A few years back I had a cedar tree in a fence row I needed to trim. In doing so I found an empty bird's nest with a blue plastic grocery sack neatly woven into the "floor" of the nest. I took the nest down and put it away in the shed. A couple of years later the old cedar was looking really rough and I decided to cut it down. While cutting the boughs to length for disposal I found 2 more bird's nests. They were like the one I had found previously, with grocery sacks neatly woven into the floor of the nest, and one actually had strips of bags cut and woven into the side. I was amazed, but then realized the birds found shopping at the neighborhood Walmart convenient, too.
I use those little bags for everything.
-to wrap chicken bones in and bury deep in the trash can to keep out nosey dogs.
-wrap meat so it doesn't leak after bringing home from the grocery.
-great to put dog poo in/also "scoops" of litter pan stuff.
-use as lining for all small trash cans in the house.
-if going to several different places with items to be delivered, these little bags are great.
And don't buy that they don't decompose. Myself runs a fine and steaming compost pile and if one of these little bags makes it into my pile...it ROTS. Sure, it takes a little longer but ladies and gems...those bags ROT. They're made out of a petroleum product after all, which also comes out of the ground. Or, for those who still don't believe, do you notice the world is not overrun with those little bags?
If after all my uses, I still have a pile of those little bags left, I bundle them up and take them to the grocery to be recycled!
Damn, San Fran....get a grip!
Complex isn't it. With each change in technology that dynamic would change too, even with changes in commodity prices. It's too complex for regulatory government to begin to manage (even if the influence peddlers like it that way).
That's why we need this. I'm the inventor.
I'm with you. I have a lot of fruit trees in my yard, and every spring, when the winds whip up, I'm constantly pulling those damn things out of the branches.
Glad or Hefty Inc. must be located in Queen Nancy's district, right next to Star-Kist. They're seeing lost sales because people use the shopping bags for trash bags. It's a lobbying effort to eliminate the competition. Foil hat alert!
Well, yesterday he said he was going to make the MUNI free to ride.
"Don't wrap it, bag it!"
Use Trojans Dual-Use Grocery Bags! Available at fine stores everywhere in North Beach, the Castro District, and The Tenderloin!
For bagging your goods and the prevention of disease only. Always practice Safe Shopping techniques.
Condoms aren't plastic. They're Latex. < / Stupid Liberal mode >
I'd rather go with plastic. I can carry multiple bags in at a time. Plus they're good for bathroom wastebaskets.
Absolutely. They are unsightly and a nuisance. They should be replaced by good old, reliable, brown paper bags. The ones kids could make masks out of and crowns and...we could cover school books with them and even use them as note pads in a pinch. There's a lot to be said for technology but there's more to be said in a lot of cases for the good, plain, old fashioned things. Besides, paper is biodegradable. Plastic sucks!!
The ultimate urban grocery cart.
Keep your perishables cool on the trek back to the Metro-Pad.
Sit down and have a cold one.
Say no to paper AND plastic!
(*optional daisies and tutu skirts offered only in San Francisco and NYC.)
Paper is still better. Always has always will be. My opinion ... you have yours.
I was just kind of joking LOL. Banning plastic bags is just kind of funny when you think about it. Frankly, I liked my paper bags. That was bad because we were using tree by products. At least they were biodegradable.
Not in favor of a ban, but you can about 5 times as much of your groceries into a paper bag as you can in a plastic bag.
No paper, no plastic? What are they supposed do with their groceries? Shove 'em up their... Oh, wait. It's San Francisco.
Here we goooo
What about the trees?