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Plastic bag ban at checkout starts

Original post made on Apr 20, 2013

Earth Day (April 22) this year heralds the end of single-use plastic bags at the checkout counter in Menlo Park and 24 other Peninsula cities.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, April 19, 2013, 8:18 AM

Comments (25)

Posted by PV Resident, a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Apr 20, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Instead of banning the plastic bags... why not just enact a law that requires all plastic bags used have to be made from 100% recycled plastic bags... let's use what's already out there. Even if we ban the plastic bags going forward the old ones are still in our landfills and oceans. In addition to paper bags having their own drawbacks, many multi-use bags are made out of plastics as well.

Posted by Shopping in Redwood City, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Apr 20, 2013 at 9:33 pm

The ordinance does not take place until October 1 in Redwood City. Starting Monday I am boycotting Menlo Park grocery stores until October 1. The Menlo Park City staff openly said in a City Council meeting that it was about getting people to change their behavior. Did it ever occur to those arrogant jackasses that they need to change their behavior? Our City Council is a disgrace. It allowed itself to be bullied by the County Board of Supervisors. They seem to forget that they work for us. Instead, these pipsqueaks go out of their way to make our lives more difficult. BTW, the County Board of Supervisors are the same clowns that lost $150 million of our tax dollars to Lehman Bros.

I have a car that gets 15 mpg and I will take great pleasure in increasing my carbon footprint by going out of my way to drive to Redwood City to do my shopping.

Posted by Political Observer, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 21, 2013 at 4:26 pm

The Board of Supervisors is held captive by the Sierra Club and other environmental organizations. These fanatics seek to punish society as a whole for the misdeed of a few. The Board of Supervisors consists of amateurs whose competence is on par with street people. The Menlo Park City Council has two political opportunists in Keith and Mueller. Both are seeking higher office and have put garnering political contributions over the good of the public. Ohtaki just wants to get along and will never do anything to upset his fellow council members. Cline is similar to Ohtaki. The only Council member who is not motivated by the need for peer acceptance and the lust for campaign contributions is Catherine Carlton. It is a shame that Menlo Park only has one council member who wants to serve its residents.

Posted by neighbor, a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2013 at 6:37 pm

The "fanatics" seem to be the angry writers who rant against the new ordinance. So much hysteria over something quite small.

Plastic bans are being enacted all over the U.S., and have existed in Europe for years.

Keep calm and carry on.

Posted by The "Right" Stuff, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 21, 2013 at 7:38 pm

Political Observer, we know you like Carlton because she is a Republican. But your rant doesn't even match the vote recorded in the story where you posted it.

"The Menlo Park City Council voted 5-0 in January to join the county in enacting a new ordinance banning the use of plastic bags by retailers..."

Fox News is on. Enjoy.

Posted by Just a Citizen, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 24, 2013 at 12:20 am

This isn't a ban, it is a tax. We can still purchase plastic trash bags. If the environment is the concern, why not use plastic bags that are biodegradable? Or have retailers use only paper bags? This is a tax masquerading as an ordinance about improving the environment. I wonder what retailers think about not being able to have the "free" advertising anymore; will the large department stores follow this law as well? Can't wait to see people carrying multiple purchases from store to store in the malls, sans bags; should be interesting.

Posted by Sir Topham Hatt, a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Apr 24, 2013 at 1:15 am

Just another nail in the coffin of local businesses- parking ticket extortion, 9% sales tax, bag tax, the list of reasons to shop online keeps getting longer.

Goodbye Safeway, hello grocery delivery!

Posted by Seriously, a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2013 at 11:24 am

You folks need to find something truly important to get outraged about. My family has carried reusable bags for years - we've got plenty of them, they are given away at so many events. No big deal. It's not a tax. You're objecting to being inconvenienced by having to actually think about the consequences of our throw-away society. Go do a beach clean-up or a creek clean-up (or, better yet, come out and clean up all the stuff you folks from the Bayside throw out of your cars each weekend on the way to and from the beach on Hwy. 84.) Plastic bags are floating all over the place. I watched a couple wing their way along a beach estuary the other day.

Being a grown up means actually dealing with the consequences of your actions. Tossing away everything is filling up our landfills and polluting our waterways. Enough whining and laziness. Put some reusable bags in your car and get over it.

Posted by No Easy Solutions, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 24, 2013 at 2:14 pm

@Seriously: +1 Like.

Posted by Bill, a resident of another community
on Apr 25, 2013 at 8:37 am

Safeway informed my 86 yr. old mom who depends on Safeway delivery that it will charge her for every bag. I'm disgusted.

Posted by Seriously, a resident of another community
on Apr 25, 2013 at 8:44 am


So you're objecting to your 86 year old mother being charged for receiving something? Do you object that they charge her for the groceries? Do you object that they charge her a delivery fee? Do you object that she gets a PG&E bill? A water bill? A garbage bill? Does she get charged for cable TV? Would it be o.k. if she was 76? 66? 56? Hmmm. Can she ask that they deliver the groceries in boxes and then take the boxes away?

What's your point?

Posted by neighbor, a resident of another community
on Apr 25, 2013 at 9:46 am

Bill -- give your Mom a dollar each month to cover her shopping bag fee. Better yet, pay for her food just like she did for you for many many years.

Posted by Ridiculous, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 25, 2013 at 1:26 pm

I've been carrying my own reusable grocery bags to shop at Safeway for years. No big deal -- keep them in my trunk. But this ridiculous new law also applies to the bags they used to give you at Walgreen's or Ace Hardware or even paper sacks at card shops. There are times you stop in somewhere while running errands and you don't happen to have a pocket full of bags with you. The fact that the City thinks charging 10 cents is going to teach you a lesson or help the environment in those cases is completely asinine.

Posted by neighbor, a resident of another community
on Apr 25, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Ridculous: When you forget the shopping bag, just pay the @#$% dime. Relax, it's no big deal.

Posted by DoItYourself, a resident of Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline
on Apr 25, 2013 at 8:28 pm

I've carried my own bags for decades, and make them myself. They're easy to make, the fabric is made in the U.S., the bags are made in the U.S. I take them to all stores, including department stores. Don't sew? That's ok, many people do. Buy some U.S.A.-made bags (so they don't have lead in them), keep them in your vehicle, after you bring stuff into your home take them back out to your vehicle or put by your front door. It's really easy. Wasting stuff, using stuff once and throwing it out, is un-American. Doubt me? Ask someone from the WWII generation - they'll tell you. And ask them soon, before they're all gone & we lose their extremely valuable perspective.

Posted by It's not so difficult!, a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 26, 2013 at 10:16 am

Change is difficult for many people. Here hare hints for eliminating your stress and adjusting to this new law that will actually be a benefit the environment, you, your kids and our entire community:

Step one: Find a visible place near your door to keep your reusuable bags. It could be a shelf or shopping bag.

Step two: Take the pile bags with you when you go out to your car.

Step three: Before leaving your vehicle, put at least one bag in your pocket or pocketbook even if you don't think you'll be buying anything. We sometime impulse shop. Or, if you are doing your grocery shopping, grab 3 or 4 or as many as you need. (Note: this is the hardest step to remember, so make a point of returning to your car to get your bags if you have forgotten to take them, to develop the discipline quickly!)

Step four: After shopping and bringing your filled bags into the house, replace the bags in the visible location near your door, so you see them the next time you go out.

It also helps to keep an assortment of reusable bags, to be used for different purposes. Some nylon ones collapse down to the size of a pack of tissue and are very handy! Give one to each member of your household for their briefcase or backpack. Others are sturdy enough to pack a case of wine in. Find a few that you like and stick with them!

Posted by rEAD TODAY'S sAN mATEO cOUNTY tIMES, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 26, 2013 at 2:01 pm

San Francisco has had the plastic bag ban since 2007. Since that time ER visits for E coli poisoning have risen almost 50%. The slop for brains (SFB) liberals always think they know better. In fact they are just a bunch of idiots.

Posted by neighbor, a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2013 at 4:29 pm

To the person who capitalizes letters strangely: Don't make erroneous associations and please refrain from the childish attacks.

The e coli are most often in the food itself because of conditions in fields and in industrialized production facilities. NOTE: E coli bacteria absolutely LOVES the warm environment produced in plastic bags.

To avoid e coli, be more careful in your food purchases and your own food handling. Wash your fruit and veggies and your hands. Keep your kitchen counters and sinks clean -- kitchen sinks have more e coli than bathroom fixtures.

And, it should go with saying that you should wash your cloth bags too.

You can do it, really you can.

Posted by Energy Analysis, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Apr 27, 2013 at 10:13 am

It takes far more energy to wash a multi-use bag than it does to make a single use plastic bag- which is a misnomer because I reuse those so called "single use" bags. So these smart liberals, who want to run your lives because you would be lost without them, don't seem to realize they they are increasing the carbon footprint by outlawing pastic bags. Way to go libs!

This is like Al Gore preaching about reducing your carbon footprint while he jets around in his G650 to his megamansions. The Peninsula is living proof that there is no correlation between formal education and common sense.

Posted by neighbor, a resident of another community
on Apr 27, 2013 at 1:55 pm

"Energy Analysis" -- throw the market bag into one of your loads of laundry. Do you wash your clothes, or do you not want use the energy?

OMG, is laundry now a political issue? All of these specious arguments seem to come from having a pretty weak position.

Like Nike says....Just do it.

Posted by Energy Analysis, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Apr 28, 2013 at 10:57 am

Some liberal website recommended soaking the reusable bags in water and bleach for an hour, rinse it thoroughly and let it completely dry. Result: Wasted water, the introduction of chlorine (a caustic halogen)into the environment, wasted timne and wasted energy. Liberals have gone out of their way to inconvenience everyone. That is how they get their kicks.

Of course most people don't wash their reusable bags. So I hope Obamacare is ready for all those ER visits.

Laundry is not a political issue. What is a political issue is lamebrained "well intentioned" liberals making our lives more difficult with their cockamamy schemes. They should go back to their canabis sativa and leave the rest of us alone.

Posted by neighbor, a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2013 at 11:11 am

This is not a liberal issue, and your remarks have a whole lot of really childish labels and language. Not to mention that the bitterness is really a bit much.

You write "Of course, most people don't wash their reusable bags" Do you wash your towels? Do you use table cloths over and over without washing them? How about your underwear?

Do you do any laundry -- or, would washing your stuff be selling out to some liberals?
How hard is it to add the shopping bag to the laundry?

Posted by Mind your own business, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Apr 28, 2013 at 4:38 pm

We don't need some scattered brain liberal telling the rest of us to wash a reusable bag. Most people don't want them. If you want them then use it. But where do you get off telling other people how to live our lives? We want the plastic bags. San Francisco and Los Angeles Counties both allow compostable plastic bags. I am hoping that the Menlo Park CC will reconsider and adopt the San Francisco County ordinance.

Posted by neighbor, a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2013 at 6:52 pm

"scattered brain liberal" --- pretty silly to get so worked up and resort to name-calling again. And, "Most people" --- do you know most people?

But I'll take a guess here...I'm guessing that "most people" (certainly many or some) find a lot of laws somewhat inconvenient.

For example: like a lot of health & safety laws in restaurants or workplaces, or traffic laws. But we follow such laws because it's basically good for both us and everyone else, and there might be a fine if we don't.

Here the "fine" is a dime --- and you get a paper bag, no ticket. You can use that paper bag for something else, or bring it back to the market to use next time you shop if you don't like the washable shopping bags.

Think about it, there are a lot of ways we COOPERATIVELY modify our behavior everyday for both our own good and for the public good.

You're awfully worked up about this. Relax, and don't get your knickers in a knot.

BTW --- I'm not a liberal. You are quite mistaken.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community
on Jun 28, 2013 at 2:22 pm

This is a perfect example of the danger of plastic bags - this poor sperm whale calf died from ingesting 100 bags: Web Link

This is dangerous, heartbreaking, short-sighted & utterly asinine. It's also preventable - or at least, it was before these bags became so popular. I am relieved that these bags have been banned by so many places. Now we need to clean up the waterways!

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