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Arnold Wants Plastic Bag Ban To Move

by: Brian Leubitz

Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 15:30:00 PM PST


plastic1One of the more noteworthy bills this year, a measure that would have banned the use of free plastic bags, got a boost from our outgoing Governor.

The bill to ban plastic grocery bags faced fierce opposition from the Virginia-based interest group American Chemistry Council and died in the Senate this year. Schwarzenegger said the measure might fare better in the current, post-election political climate.

"Of course we fell short a few votes, but we said, 'We'll be back,' and we are back again," Schwarzenegger said at a Capitol press conference. "And if we don't get it done in December, we'll get it done next year."(SacBee)

Now, this bill faced a whole mess of opposition, and the plastics industry was able to kill it amongst the Senate Democratic caucus. Here's the vote totals, but the "ModSquad" was in full effect here. The Dem Noes: Calderon, Correa, Ducheny, Florez, Negrete McLeod, Price, Romero, and Wolk.

I have to say the one that surprises me there is Sen. Wolk.  She represents much of the Delta, which is being flooded with these bags, killing scores of wildlife.  I'm not privy to her position on the issue, and the defeat of the measure wasn't her doing alone.  However, I hope she'll be able to move when it comes up next time.

But of course, the lobbyists aren't going anywhere.  When asked about this latest push for the bill, here's the response from the plastics people:

The American Chemistry Council's Tim Shestek was in the crowd for the occasion. While supporters of the ban cheered their prospects for a second round, he said, "This is a bill that's dead."(SacBee)

No, not dead.  If China sees that banning plastic bags is in its state interest, surely the state of California can do the same.

Brian Leubitz :: Arnold Wants Plastic Bag Ban To Move
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yeah wolk's vote boggled (0.00 / 0)
as did her one that would have banned the hazardous flame-retardant chemicals a year or so ago.  

what was Curren Price's explanation for his NO vote? (0.00 / 0)
I would think the Black community would be behind the banning of plastic bags as a scourge on the environment.

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Plastic bags (0.00 / 0)
This bill needs an amendment. Ban plastic bags but require stores to provide paper bags instead.

As written, people who shop are going to be charged for each plastic bag they use. You might think that is fair but currently Safeway and other large retailers provide those bags. And yes, the cost of the plastic bags is added to the price of the groceries just like the way Safeway figures in utility costs, rent, property tax and so on. In a sense, this bill allows Safeway and others to charge people twice. No one really expects Safeway to reduce the prices of anything because it no longer will have to absorb the cost of bags?

I realize that we're talking about pennies per bag. But the poor don't have pennies to spend on bags when they need to buy food and clothes. The poor may not have the money to buy a reusable bag either. Furthermore, if they shop in bulk--to save money--they will need six or more bags.

Just think about it. I'm not against the environment but I concerned about the impact on low-income people. Find a way to amend this bill.


Amendment Ideas (0.00 / 0)
Biodegradable shopping bags might be another alternative. Keeps the plastics industry in business, but not as toxic to the environment.

I do agree with Chriscage about offering choice to the customer while being respectful to the environment and the poor.
For the retail store I work in we use plastic bags up the wazoo, but if we were able to use paper bags, it might be better for stuff like flat items that need to be kept flat like greeting cards or decorative paper.

If people are using EBT, maybe we could give an allowance for people to purchase 3 reusable bags per members of their household as an idea.

Plastic bags as we see now should absolutely be abolished, but there should be greater choice such as biogdegradable shopping bags.  


[ Parent ]
I reuse free paper bags (0.00 / 0)
and supermarkets could still provide free paper bags.

Wal Mart has already stopped providing bags. When I go there, I just don't bag at all - I unload the stuff straight into my car. Of course, if you're walking or taking the bus, that won't work so well.

Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!


[ Parent ]
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