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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

LA Bans Plastic Bags

posted by on July 23 at 17:03 PM

But that’s not as bad as Seattle’s nanny-state, socially-engineered bag fee! At least in LA, they can still get paper bags! AT LEAST THEY STILL HAVE A CHOICE!

Oh, wait. They’re charging 25 cents for paper bags—five cents more than Seattle’s proposed bag fee. Carry on.

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Posted by w7ngman | July 23, 2008 5:08 PM


Posted by used to blog | July 23, 2008 5:14 PM

From what I've read, grocers would rather give paper bags away FREE rather than to tie up checker's time determining how many bags to charge and resolving issues: e.g. "should the bread go in a another bag?" or "do want to carry your six pack separately?"

How disgustingly arrogant for the city to spend millions trying to get the Sonics to stay but stick it to its citizens with these extortion enviro-marxist tactics.

Posted by raindrop | July 23, 2008 5:22 PM

Paper and plastic bags should cost $5.

Multi-use canvas bags should cost $4 at grocery stores.

Free canvas bags should be available at homeless shelters, food banks and other agencies that serve the poor (Linda's doesn't count).

YOU carry on.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | July 23, 2008 5:26 PM

Too bad we can't get a REFUND for REUSING bags.

That would be ... prudent.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 23, 2008 5:27 PM

Yeah, it just occurred to me recently that since I always reuse my grocery bags to dispose of trash and for other normal household uses that I'm going to have to start buying more trash bags now to pick up the slack. So, in my case at least, zero sum. Oh well, the intention is at least good, in a micro-managing, address-one-tiny-problem-while-ignoring-the-giant-glaring-ones-all-around-us kinda way.

Posted by flamingbanjo | July 23, 2008 5:32 PM

So the biggest ecological catastrophe of a city anywhere in the world is going to ban plastic bags. Wow. That'll sure empty out those freeways.

Posted by Fnarf | July 23, 2008 5:38 PM

Yeah, it just occurred to me recently that since I always reuse my grocery bags to dispose of trash and for other normal household uses that I'm going to have to start buying more trash bags now to pick up the slack. So, in my case at least, zero sum. Oh well, the intention is at least good, in a micro-managing, address-one-tiny-problem-while-ignoring-the-giant-glaring-ones-all-around-us kinda way.

Exactly. You hit the nail on the head, friend. Congratulations...when it comes to this matter, you're one of the few sane individuals in our fine city.

Posted by Seattle Crime Blogger | July 23, 2008 5:38 PM

Yes, their City Council had to get this off their plate, so they could focus on the next big thing, a one-year moratorium on the opening of new "fast food" restaurants.

Posted by jmr | July 23, 2008 5:43 PM

How about a $25 fine for every copy of the Stranger that's currently blowing around the bus stop?

Posted by I'm a Nuclear Bomb | July 23, 2008 5:55 PM

So, Erica, if all your friends jumped off the Aurora Bridge, would you do so, too?

It's easy enough for car-centric people to keep a bunch of eco-friendly natural hemp totes tucked in their trunks for a quick trip to the grocery store. When I'm walking home from work, I generally don't have room in my coat for the one or two or three cloth bags it would take to bring home dinner, niceties and necessities.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | July 23, 2008 6:01 PM

Hey Fnarf,

Guess who's on KUOW tonight?

Posted by Jeff Stevens | July 23, 2008 6:08 PM

"carry on" HA! That is an underused line.

Posted by StrangerDanger | July 23, 2008 6:17 PM

@13: and strangerdanger is a truly original nom de plume.

Posted by ECB | July 23, 2008 7:30 PM

doesn't everyone use paper and plastic bags for garbage bags??? this is obviously the glad /hefty bag corporations' doing!

Posted by high and bi | July 23, 2008 8:14 PM

I'm a checker at a grocery store. Do you know how BAD it's gonna suck to have to negotiate/explain each bag and bag fee with customers? Man...I do NOT look forward THAT.

I think checkers are the ones who will "pay" the most for this.

Just ban the plastic bags outright, don't charge for paper bags, and continue to promote reusable bags Paper bags are highly "reusable," btw, and hold about 10 times as much as the plastic ones.

Posted by Dan | July 23, 2008 8:24 PM

Perhaps Erica can finally leave Seattle.

But let's not start celebrating yet.

Posted by joykiller | July 23, 2008 9:04 PM

Did you guys know that at the same time that City Hall is grandstanding about plastic bags it is replacing natural turf fields with synthetic ones. They are doing this because it cheap and convienient. After 15 years these surfaces go into the landfill too.
So do as they say, not as they do.

Posted by Zander | July 23, 2008 9:15 PM

Well, if you like LA's policy so much, why don't you move there? Get out of my city, you enviro-Nazi! Even more so, get out of my country where it is a democracy and people vote on their laws and taxes, not have them forced upon them from on high (and, yes, the bag fee is a tax of sorts).

Wow, it does feel good to say it. It is no wonder why you Nazis say it all the time.

Will in Seattle @5: I didn't know this, but Safeway apparently gives a $0.03 refund for reusing plastic bags, for each bag! I mean, its not like cans back in Michigan where, if you were an industrious child, you could gather up all the cans in your neighborhood and buy yourself a CD, a couple movie tickets, a new baseball glove, or save up for something more. But, it is something.

Posted by TheMisanthrope | July 23, 2008 9:47 PM

ECB - MOVE TO LA. Please.

Notice the comments are, oh, 20 to one against you?

Does that bother you at all, or does it only make you more smug and arrogant.

The bag fee is counterproductive, period.

We don't need smug, somewhat dim reporters for free weekly newspapers telling us how to live. At least that dude over at the real newspaper understands his city.

Carry on, my ass.

Posted by but who's counting | July 23, 2008 9:54 PM

@18, by "natural surface" you are referring to bare sand. It's fun to think of natural grass playing fields, but in the PNW that's not what you get. You get sand (anything else turns to mud nine months a year). Plastic grass is the only reasonable surface to use; there really isn't a choice here. And opponents of it hurt their cause by lying about what they mean. Bare sand, not grass.

Posted by Fnarf | July 23, 2008 10:04 PM

@22, the same bare sand that's weeping out of the scab on my right knee from what I must say was a brilliant save against a rocket of a strike.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | July 23, 2008 10:36 PM


Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | July 23, 2008 10:37 PM

@11: what i don't understand about this argument is this... if you can't carry the bags with you to the store, how are you able to carry bags full of stuff with you away from the store?

Posted by bag or no bag | July 23, 2008 10:40 PM

@24 You probably didn't note "on my way home from work." Not everybody goes home, then leaves again to go to the store.

Some of us have busy schedules.

Posted by TheMisanthrope | July 23, 2008 10:56 PM

Where am i gonna scoop my cat poo now? The endless supply of platic bags in my pantry is dwindling!

Posted by time to buy some bags | July 23, 2008 10:56 PM

@22, you're a keeper? Excellent. I'd rather watch a great save than a strike anyday.

Posted by Fnarf | July 23, 2008 11:21 PM
get out of my country where it is a democracy and people vote on their laws and taxes

No, it isn't, and, no, they don't. You get to vote for representatives who get to enact laws and taxes. If you don't like what they do in office, you can vote against them in the next election. Of course, since a plastic bag fee is trivial, not one of you whiners is going to vote against any city council member for supporting the fee.

And that's where you get to the crux of all of this whining. No one cares about this issue enough to punish politicians for it. It will happen and you will suck it up.

Posted by keshmeshi | July 23, 2008 11:36 PM

@25: Don't be lame, carry an Envirosax bag with you. They fold up pretty small; I carry one with me all the time in my manpurse.

Posted by A | July 23, 2008 11:49 PM

I don't see what all the fuss is about. If you're making a trip to the grocery store, is it that much of a hassle to bring a bag? All of a sudden no one has a backpack (that they can pack with groceries AND and extra canvas shopping bag or two), or a messenger bag and so on. Good grief, people.

I've been using re-usable shopping bags for years now and I think it's hilarious (and shocking) at how utterly pissed off you people are about your precious plastic bags.

Stick them over your head and suffocate you sacks of shit.

Posted by Damien | July 24, 2008 4:52 AM

Um, one trash bag a week is certainly better than one every time you buy a soda and smokes from the corner bodega and 8 or 10 from the weekly grocery shopping trip, and the bag from Crossroads, and the bag from Walgreen's when you got your shaving cream, and the bag from last night's takeout, and and and. As for the cat litter, well, you own a cat. Figure it out or get a cat flap. Bread bags are good.

Posted by NaFun | July 24, 2008 5:52 AM

I'm a Seattle native who has been living in Beijing for the last year. Free plastic bags were banned here several months ago as part of the pre-Olympics "Greening". People groused for a few days and now most everyone carries around a stylish, lightweight canvas bag. Its no big fucking deal. I am baffled that Beijing suddenly seems more progressive than Seattle.

Oh, and ECB rules. All you haters try doing her job for one day and then say what you will.

Posted by Erika | July 24, 2008 8:31 AM

"All you haters try doing [ECB's] job for one day and then say what you will."

What Erika said.

Posted by Jeff Stevens | July 24, 2008 8:55 AM
Oh, and ECB rules. All you haters try doing her job for one day and then say what you will.

Really? It seems like a pretty easy job. Mix in some phony, manufactured outrage, throw in some excessive exclamation use, a little finger-wagging enviromental nannyism and stir.

I've seen message board trolls work harder.

Posted by Chirp | July 24, 2008 9:04 AM

@32, ok, but I'm not sure I could make an entire day out of:

- reposting tediously long stories from feminist magazines on Slog
- never leaving Capitol Hill
- bitching and moaning

Posted by joykiller | July 24, 2008 9:30 AM

Wait until L.A. bans roll-on. The one word bit of advice to Benjamin no longer pertains. Wonder what it would be now? Is whining a profitable product?

Posted by RHETT ORACLE | July 24, 2008 10:31 AM

@10 and @18 tied for the win.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 24, 2008 10:36 AM


Fuck you, hater!

Posted by Cookie W. Monster | July 24, 2008 12:29 PM

I am for the ban, even if it were wholly symbolic. If people are going to cry out against this minor inconvenience as a step towards cleaning up the environment/reducing greenhouse gases, what outcry will meet really substantive actions? There are many things that need to be done and people need to get in the habit of doing them.

It is really no problem to keep a bag or two in one's briefcase or backpack if one usually stops at the store on the way home. For those of you who are grieving the loss of your free garbage/dog poop bags: given that everything has a cost, why should the general population of consumers fund your free bags?

Posted by inkweary | July 24, 2008 12:34 PM

Yep, the Japanese used water torture on our POW's, the Russian Commies used sleep deprivation in Siberia to break people, and now the enviro-Marxists want this bag rule. Apples and walruses.

I'm not against these bag reforms, but I've also said this before: the libs and the left nibble about the fringes on things like this, and meanwhile, on the well-funded right:

One bill-yun doll-ars...

Posted by CP | July 24, 2008 6:01 PM

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