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About this blog: So much is right — and wrong — about what is happening in Palo Alto. In this blog I want to discuss all that with you. I know many residents care about this town, and I want to explore our collective interests to help ...  (More)

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Plastic vegie bag ban: Pragmatic? -- or simply politically correct?

Uploaded: Jan 12, 2020
Last June, the Palo Alto City Council, in a 6-0 vote, went along with a suggestion from the Girl Scouts to ban all plastic straws, which they did. A week later with the Scouts cheering them on, the council decided to ban disposable single-use plastic bags in grocery stores – those that are used to carry home vegetables and meat. The ban extends to plastic utensils and other single-use items. Plastic bags at farmers’ markets are now banned. More draconian measures are on their way this year.

I wonder if any of our council members ever go shopping for food. Produce sections in grocery stores have for years been providing vegie bags to hold things like string beans and Brussels sprouts, in part because they had introduced mock storms (complete with thunder rumbling) to gently keep all the produce fresh – and wet.

Yesterday I went to the Midtown Safeway, aware that this new plastic bag ban was in effect since Jan. 1. They store still had a couple of rolls of plastic vegie bags that were available. So I put my sprayed beet greens in one, my damp Brussels sprouts in another, my sprinkled broccoli in a third, and my fresh moist carrots in the fourth. And, oh yes, my dripping lettuce in the fifth. No paper or compostable bags were available – nothing else to hold this wet produce.

I walked to the plastic bag aisle looking for compostable bags (none available) or reusable ones (a single box of small sandwich bags for $3.99.) Beet greens would not fit in them.

I checked on Amazon for compostable bags – the cost ranged from 8 to 15cents per bag (in rolls of 200). Average roll price: $16 or $30, plus tax and some shipping. And once the roll arrives at my front door, what do I do with it – remember to take six to the store every time I shop?

And what about meat bags? Some roasts just drip, especially if the plastic wrap has a rip, and if they are not in separate plastic bags, the juice gets over the cart and onto other foods. The juice also sits on the check-out counter -- doesn’t seem healthy to me. Did the council think about these things?

Several years ago, we all, somewhat dutifully, went along with a city ban restricting single-use plastic shopping bags from all grocery stores because, we were told, the bags were clogging our creeks and waterways. Once in effect, officials declared the ban has achieved a victory – the creeks had hardly any of those plastic bags that we once used to carry home our groceries. (We’ve been bringing our own recyclable bags.)

Last summer, we were told this new vegie and meat plastic bag ban was enacted because they are choking our creeks and waterways. Again? I tried to find the data but little factual information was on the city’s web site.

Why do we have this creek-clogging problem, if we really do? I’ve been told it’s due to the homeless who throw things into water, but it’s too easy to blame “the homeless.”

Getting rid of plastic bags is a noble concept, but what Palo Alto does to rid the earth of plastic vegetable bags and straws will have little impact on the earth’s global warming problem “It’s a symbol of doing good,” one friend told me. “Plastic is bad and if we can get rid of it, so can other cities.” Will Palo Alto really set a national example?

To me, all this fuss about plastic seems more like a disposal problem than a plastic problem. That’s where our efforts should go. City, tell us what you want us to do with our vegie bags, and tell the grocery stores what they should do to prevent wet vegetables leaking into my recyclable shopping bag.

Actually, the bigger plastic problem to me is all those plastic water bottles that are in every city in the area. One friend brings home 48 a week for her family, and dumps the bottles in the trash. Why do we need plastic water bottles, especially since the water here is almost the best in the nation? If we disallow them will we be a model for other cities? Actually, I think it takes a bigger effort than what little Palo Alto does to help with plastic disposal issues.

Let’s think bans through in greater cause/result terms, and be more pragmatic about solving our “plastic problems,” rather than just raising our self-righteous flags and being proud of ourselves. I may be convincing no one, since some residents will still think that they are politically correct and are doing something to prevent more global warming. Are they?

We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?

Comments

 +   14 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jan 12, 2020 at 3:17 pm

FYI drawstring mesh bags are available at Piazzas, a few for about $5. You can use them several times before they need to have a wash in the laundry, depending on what you put in them. When returning home, it is best to take the contents out and put into a tupperware before refrigerating them.

FYI Piazzas now have paper bags at veggie counters, some green compostable bags for produce, and paper boxes instead of plastic boxes for salad bar.

However, giving you this information, I agree with you entirely. The meat packages leaking everywhere is a very big concern.

But, I will finish by saying if you have noticed how many Safeway checkout clerks now wear plastic gloves when working? I wonder if the City will end up banning single use plastic gloves?


 +   12 people like this
Posted by pearl, a resident of another community,
on Jan 12, 2020 at 4:01 pm

pearl is a registered user.

Visit 4ocean.com to understand why we MUST quit using plastic bags now!


 +   10 people like this
Posted by CalAveLocal, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Jan 12, 2020 at 5:34 pm

CalAveLocal is a registered user.

Well, our kids are being taught "re-use, re-purpose, re-cycle" at school. This really is a solution to "our plastic problem". And notice the order - re-use, re-purse, and only then recycle.
Its the small steps every person needs to take to make a difference. Its getting reusable bags - btw, mesh bags actually keep produce fresher which in turn reduces food waste. Its not getting a straw at a restaurant - or bringing your own reusable one. Its bringing a glass jar that came from your favorite olives to put bulk almonds in. Its taking that plastic bag you used to keep your beet greens from getting the rest of your stuff wet and washing it, and brining it to Safeway with you next time.
Not a single one of these is so radical and big that it will impact your quality of life. But if you take one or two of these steps.. and so will most of your neighbors - it will make a difference.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Ok Boomer, a resident of Midtown,
on Jan 12, 2020 at 8:57 pm

Diana, it's not hard to buy and keep a set or two of reusable mesh or canvas produce bags now. Your crankiness about this change is laughable. I bought mine on etsy nearly 7 years ago and keep them in my car with the other shopping bags.
Don't know what to tell you about the dripping meat other than to make the meat counter folks rewrap it properly ¯\_(?)_/¯


 +   10 people like this
Posted by Ok Boomer, a resident of Midtown,
on Jan 12, 2020 at 9:03 pm

CalAveLocal, I grew up in the Bay Area in the 90s with the slogan “REDUCE, reuse, recycle" so this extended plastic bag law fits right in with the first priority.
It really blows my mind how our privileged community is so resistant to minimize their use of single use plastics. It's not that hard, people. Yes, doing something a new way is hard and an inconvenience at first but you've made it this far with the times that are a-changing!


 +   10 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Midtown,
on Jan 13, 2020 at 4:15 am

It's time for us all to go back to ancient pagan ways of living before plastic was invented! I read about it in Sherry's blog. It's full of wondeful suggestions.

Also, vote for Biden! He wants to do a nationwide ban on plastic

Web Link

By the way, you shouldn't drive cars either.

Plastic is on its way out, and so are cars. They will be banned everywhere! You must go with the flow, and join the collective. Resistance is futile


 +   6 people like this
Posted by CalAveLocal, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Jan 13, 2020 at 9:11 am

CalAveLocal is a registered user.

@OK Boomer - you are so right. I don't understand why there is such a resistance to making small steps in the direction of conserving and helping the environment. Its not that difficult to carry your own bags, re-use the plastic bags until they break and the such. All of it requires little effort but will have a significant impact if everyone - or even most - do it. Limiting the amount of car use - especially cars being used around town - is not that difficult either. Yes, our public transportation is not ideal or even decent; but there are small things that could be done easily. I understand older population not being able to say bike around town, but younger population is. Ever notice how many cars drop children off at schools? Most of these children live within easily biking distance from school. High schoolers and middle schoolers - mostly - can and should bike. One thing we have going for us is weather - I would say roughly 70% of the school year the weather is dry and beautiful. This is so frustrating :(


 +   23 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Midtown,
on Jan 13, 2020 at 9:23 am

^
Here's my perspective: other people's choice of transportation or the types of bags they use is none of your gd business.


 +   10 people like this
Posted by CalAveLocal, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Jan 13, 2020 at 9:30 am

CalAveLocal is a registered user.

Dear Resident, while you, like everyone else, have a right to your own opinion, you do not have a right to your own facts.
Environmental concerns and the future of our planet is everyone's gd business, because it impacts everyone. We do not live in a vacuum, we live in a community. Our small community of Palo Alto, our bigger community of California, USA, the world as a whole. And environment is something we ALL share. So yes, it is everyone's business, the same way as a person choosing to get drunk before getting behind the wheel, vaccinating, picking up poop after their dog and obeying laws of the country they live in is NOT an individual choice.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Neal, a resident of Community Center,
on Jan 13, 2020 at 10:26 am

Neal is a registered user.

I'm all for "reduce, reuse, recycle", but more importantly we have a litter problem. We are a nation of litter bugs. If we all made sure all of our plastic waste is disposed of properly, our landscape, creeks, bays, and oceans wouldn't be polluted. Just look at all the trash that lines our highways. It's a disgrace and nobody ever gets cited for littering. Let's make sure our waste gets to a landfill. Unfortunately, a lot of our plastic waste is shipped to Asian countries for recycling. Much of the waste they find unusable is not properly disposed of because of lax environmental laws.


 +   12 people like this
Posted by Miriam Palm, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Jan 13, 2020 at 11:24 am

Miriam Palm is a registered user.

I buy compostable bags to pick up my dog's droppings - but have to put it in my Landfill can.

Just you wait: they will ban home newspaper deliveries in plastic bags! Or ban home delivery entirely because it wastes fuel. OY!

What happened to free choice here?? Fine to offer compostable bags, but not to eliminate all other choices.

Ask your grocer what s/he thinks of the new bags ...


 +   13 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jan 13, 2020 at 12:47 pm

Since we seem to be comparing the 70s to now, let's just see how much we have progressed since then.

In the 70s, air quality was a big problem, not only in the SF and LA areas, but worldwide. With the exception of some of the Asian cities, air quality world wide is so much better. Unleaded gas and more reliable, fuel saving vehicles have done a lot to reach this.

In the 70s, the number of people who smoked alcohol was high and they would smoke anywhere and everywhere. In fact, you had to ask for a no smoking section in a restaurant. Now the numbers of people smoking is a small fraction and the amount of places they can smoke in public is vastly down.

Home heating was much more likely to be all or partly done with solid fuel fireplaces, water heating was similar. Our homes were very poorly insulated so much of the generated heat escaped through windows, doors and even walls. Our homes are much better insulated, with double pane glass and built in draught excluding devices. The amount of power necessary to generate enough heat in the modern built Silicon Valley home is much lower than what was built in the 70s.

Packaging in the 70s for everything had very low amounts of plastic, but it started to rise very quickly. Newspaper, butcher paper, parchment paper, wax paper, brown paper were all used to pack everything from food stuffs, fragile articles purchased in retail, and brown paper packages tied up in string were what was delivered from any catalog or far flung relative. In fact, plastic supposedly saved trees and was touted as being much better for the environment. I remember buying underwear, socks (in pairs with a cotton stitch to keep them together) displayed without any individual packaging and multiple purchases would be given in one paper shopping bag at the salespoint. I seem to remember them lasting much longer and having much less closing in my closet than I do now.

Milk, soda, etc. came in glass bottles and were taken back to get the deposit. I can't remember anyone carrying coffee around with them or even water. If you went hiking, something called a water canteen which may have been metal or leather seemed to be the thing to do, but only serious hikers or ex-military would really take water with them when hiking.

It seems to me that we who were young adults in the 70s, or possibly earlier, are being blamed for things we did not do. I am not saying we are not responsible in part for the disposable society in which we now live, but we did not invent the reliance to the disposables. In my youth, I used to commute regularly by public transport, absolutely nobody ate breakfast or had snacks with them while commuting. Cars did not have cupholders. Drive thrus hadn't been invented, but people did drive up and expect to be served in their cars and they stayed there until they had finished their food.

Lifestyle changes have happened. Some may say it was progress, but those of us over a certain age managed fine in the past and for the most part we have no objection to going back to our old ways.

BTW, my family trash fitted into one average sized can. We had no recycling can and no compost can. Any toaster, vacuum cleaner, toaster or hairdryer that broke was taken to be repaired as were shoes and broken zippers.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Sherry Listgarten, a resident of Greenmeadow,
on Jan 13, 2020 at 1:02 pm

Sherry Listgarten is a registered user.

Diana, great blog! FWIW, I had some of the same concerns when I learned about this ban. (I wrote a post about it here: Web Link). Just like you, my question was whether we shouldn't instead focus on bigger things, out of concern for staff and business's time, the impact of negative backlash, etc. I also find that when I don't put produce in plastic bags in the refrigerator, it doesn't last as long. Argh.

I think what the City is trying to do, with this and the next two phases (focused on disposable tableware and takeout), is to start to change the culture away from single-use disposables. That is a good thing. But where to start? Palo Alto already bans plastic bottles at city-sponspored events. The schools hopefully don't offer them. But asking Safeway to stop selling them is quite another thing. I think our best bet is that manufacturers reinvent their packaging (bottles and more) so they can stop imposing their trash/costs on our neighborhoods. I think people are increasingly frustrated with all the plastic packaging. Look at how many support a plastic tax: Web Link#

In the meantime, hopefully we'll figure out how to make do with this ban.


 +   9 people like this
Posted by Longtime Resident, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Jan 13, 2020 at 3:34 pm

"I understand older population not being able to say bike around town, but younger population is. "
CalAveLocal, I wonder how old you are. My mother is elderly, but sharp as a whip, and at 80 just renewed her drivers license. That said, her only "driving" is downtown and back. Want her to ride a bike? No. Want to limit her driving, so she cannot get groceries and necessities? Again, no. And, she doesn't use the internet, so she's not gonna get stuff delivered (which, BTW, would ruin your little theory of reducing her carbon footprint anyhow). You say all this now, but when you're 80, you'll probably be whining if someone limits or takes YOUR mobility away. Just saying...


 +   5 people like this
Posted by CalAveLocal, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Jan 13, 2020 at 5:12 pm

CalAveLocal is a registered user.

Longtime Resident, I am 40, and I am very familiar with caring for an elderly parent without unnecessarily limiting their mobility and independence. My father is 82, and he just totaled his car in an accident a couple of months ago. He is fine, but we had to make some difficult decisions regarding his ability to drive.

However, this is EXACTLY what I am saying. No-one is asking my father or your mother to bike. This would be absurd. However, suggesting people who are capable of doing it is a reasonable suggestion to make. I specifically was referring to high school students being driven to school in my note.

Look, its not all or nothing. I'm not advocating people switch to hunting and gathering. I'm saying that if people made small changes in their own lives to help the environment.

And, also, if your mother is anything like the people of her generation I know, she is a queen of reusing and repurposing.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jan 13, 2020 at 11:35 pm

>> To me, all this fuss about plastic seems more like a disposal problem than a plastic problem.

BINGO. I buy something and it ends up in a trash can or at the recycle bin or recycle center. It's not that hard, in fact it's not hard at all. I've done it since I was a kid. So what is the problem?

I saw a map that showed where most of the plastic flowing into the oceans comes from ... it was over in Asia and Africa if I recall right. We do a fairly good job. If American got our "stuff" together we would be a model for the rest of the world, but somehow instead they are the model for us. One problem with too much unregulated immigration.

When all we care about is money, you cannot offend anyone with money, whether they are uncivilized litterers or conspicuous consumers. Why don't we care if the people we sell to and do business with are uncivilized slobs who cannot be trusted to throw their trash away?

When are we going to realize it is all about the common values of civilization.


 +   10 people like this
Posted by Abitarian, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jan 14, 2020 at 8:36 am

Trader Joe's has been providing biodegradable compostable produce bags in lieu of plastic for quite some time. Certainly, other markets can do the same.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by i am jewish , a resident of Southgate,
on Jan 14, 2020 at 8:43 pm

post removed


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Old timer, a resident of Addison School,
on Jan 15, 2020 at 11:24 am

Remember when butchers wrapped your meat in butcher paper?


 +   8 people like this
Posted by SJW, a resident of College Terrace,
on Jan 15, 2020 at 12:11 pm

SJW is a registered user.

Diane, if you don't understand the problems plastic has caused in the oceans and the difficulty in disposing of it, you are not living on this planet. Get with the program and stop complaining.


 +   10 people like this
Posted by It's just not that hard., a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jan 15, 2020 at 12:44 pm

It's just not that hard. is a registered user.

I bring reusable, washable, sturdy canvas bags to the grocery store. I use one color for meat, one color for veggies and fruit. Everything else can go anywhere. I also use washable, reusable net bags for produce. I just shake off the excess water before I pack them. I carry groceries home on my bike (Yup. Bikes can carry a lot of grocery bags if you have the right carrying equipment). It doesn't matter if my canvas bag gets a little wet. It dries out. Honestly, so much fuss.

I'm a boomer...It's just not that hard--even for seniors like me. I plan, like my departed grandma taught me, to "Waste not, want not."

The MAJORITY of PAUSD children bike or walk to school. It would be nice to give these kids credit for their effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Let's take a page out of their inspiring book. Let's all consider, each time we leave the house, whether we really need to fire up a combustion engine--especially for those shorter trips around town.

If we all do these small, easy things, collectively we could make a real difference for the only planet that thousands of years of evolution perfectly adapted us to live on. Let's take care of Eden. We have nowhere to go.

One last thing, walking and biking feels great and keeps me fit. Use it or lose it. Consider trying this now and then. You may discover that it works well for you.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Miriam Palm, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Jan 15, 2020 at 1:10 pm

Miriam Palm is a registered user.

Dear Old Timer, Mollie Stone's still wraps butcher-served meat products in brown paper.


 +   10 people like this
Posted by Anneke, a resident of Professorville,
on Jan 15, 2020 at 2:08 pm

Diane, good article to do some thinking about. Where is the real waste? I just published the two comments below on your collegue" blogger site.

Comment 1:

Not that long ago we visited a reputable store in Mountain View which sells washers, dryers, stoves, ovens, microwaves and more.

What truly shocked me was the service manager telling me that the average lifetime of the products mentioned above is about eight years. ONLY EIGHT YEARS! It is obvious that manufacturers produce these machines with built-in obsolescence on purpose. I see the same in the computer industry. It is all about increasing revenue.

If we truly want to be successful in reducing waste and reversing climate danger, then some of our modern values of "new and improved" need to change. May be we need to bring back the value of lasting in our thinking.

Comment 2:

One more response.....

This past Sunday we took a wonderful walk through our little neighborhood.

I had previously heard about the plans of demolishing a gorgeous home in Professorville, but I could not believe it could happen. Well, it did.

Web Link

With tears in our hearts we looked at the "war zone" site where this absolutely beautiful home once stood, only to be replaced by a larger home. Talk about conspicuous consumption!

Our city management gets heavily involved in not allowing plastic bags and straws, but they apparently allowed this major destruction and waste of a wonderful and majestic home. What a terrible loss!


 +   14 people like this
Posted by Dan, a resident of Professorville,
on Jan 15, 2020 at 2:51 pm

Plenty of the "holier than thou" folks above are virtue signalling without even knowing they are doing so. Classic example of emotionally wanting to do your part locally, and even to impose your will on others, without the slightest understanding of the nature of the global problem. (Which is a real problem)

Palo Alto residents do not walk out of Safeway and feed our plastic produce bags to dolphins. Or stick our straws up the noses of turtles. Or walk over to the baylands to chuck our plastic grocery bags into the water. We dispose of them properly.

The prohibitions on using plastic in Palo Alto will do EXACTLY NOTHING to reduce the problem of plastic waste globally. It just will inconvenience Palo Alto residents and further raise the cost of living here.

If you really want to attack the plastic pollution problem, you need to step up and donate money to fund waste disposal and sewage treatement in Southeast Asia, China and Africa, which is the source of 90+% of the worlds water-borne plastic pollution. In those countries, which do not have comprehensive sewage treatment, plastic waste (like all other waste) ends up in rivers, from whence it flows into the ocean.

If you actually care about this problem, then READ this article from Scientific American. Web Link

If you really want to make an actual difference and not just feel good about yourself, donate to built sewage treatment plants overseas. But let me keep my produce bags...


 +   6 people like this
Posted by What this ban does, a resident of Community Center,
on Jan 15, 2020 at 3:12 pm

This ban can be effective, contrary to some of the above comments. Here is how.
(a) It helps to set an example that may be replicated elsewhere.
(b) It helps to create a market for plastic alternatives, such as compostable bags.
(c) It helps to raise awareness about environmental concerns.
(d) It helps to change the thinking of people from single-use to reusable.

Yes, it will also help if we help other countries with their (and our?) waste management. But just as important is to put pressure on manufacturers and vendors to --move away from plastic--, and on people to --move away from disposables--, and this helps to do that, in a small way, but that is a start.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Reident, a resident of Midtown,
on Jan 15, 2020 at 3:39 pm

If it's something that "helps in a small way", through the nebulous/subjective idea of "raising awareness" or "setting an example" then it's not the government's job to do it through force. But the manufacturers of the "alternatives" are getting paid so its not really about the environment, its about money.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Jan 15, 2020 at 4:08 pm

I had the strong impression there is filthy pollution in the ocean from Mexico drifting north to San Diego.
There is horribly filthy pollution in rivers in Asia flowing to the ocean.
Huge container ships spew huge pollution bringing goods here from China. Winds bring terrible pollution from Asia over the Pacific to us.
Cruise ships are generally not green, yet many love to take these silly cruises (silly to me...,)
So we have many problems.
Individual choices can help, but world level policies in China and India are FAR more crucial.
China continues to build coal fired power plants while meantime dumping solar products here (to destroy our domestic manufacturing market) and doing minimal green actions.
I suggest food/garden recycling, including through our current City of PA system, and working to standardize recycling of other things we can recycle. I heard recently aluminum cans and some glass are feasible items.
Plastics are complicated; how about one of our Tech leaders announcing a 1M prize for viable solutions to be implemented state wide? CA is often a leader - that's helpful.


 +   12 people like this
Posted by Declare it historic, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jan 15, 2020 at 4:13 pm

Anneke-- I believe a new law will soon go into effect in Palo Alto, that houses that are torn down must be taken apart and the parts recycled.
As for this home-- it si private property. As long as the new owner is following the city codes regarding the new structure, there is really nothing the city should do. You may have liked the house, but obviously the new owners di dnot.
Of course you could have pushed to have the house declared historic!!!!! Remember, anything old (old in palo alto defined as more than 10 years) is historic.


 +   15 people like this
Posted by Declare it historic, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jan 15, 2020 at 4:17 pm

I have solved the problem of dealing with another ridiculous, palo alto, nanny state "solution" to a problem.
I just do not shop in palo alto grocery stores anymore. Besides that they are undersized and understocked, this is the last straw.
Oh and I am sure Palo Alto is doing this is so when city officials travel on the tax payer dime to conferences they can lecture everyone how they are doing things "right".


 +   6 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jan 15, 2020 at 4:32 pm

>> Plenty of the "holier than thou" folks above are virtue signalling without even knowing they are doing so

Dan, why can't you haters of virtue signaling ever desist from assuming with no evidence that people are virtue-signaling? You just throw the term out there as an insult because you have no real factual argument to discuss with anyone.

Can you, most often extreme Republicans, just not hold back from pushing a terms into misuse and then misusing it to the maximum amount ... needlessly? Always trying to drop something into the punchbowl aren't you all?

Just worry about what you are signaling, apparently knowing it too?


 +   7 people like this
Posted by CalAveLocal, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Jan 15, 2020 at 6:07 pm

CalAveLocal is a registered user.

Hey, we do have all sorts of problems. Starting with China pollution, and ridiculous amounts of pollution produced by our factories and, yes, cruise ships.
But... just because we cannot solve all fo the problems, doesn't mean we shouldn't solve some. Especially the ones that we can solve easily...
Would you throw down a wrapper in Yosemite because there is already one on the ground? Of course not, you will pick the one on the ground and put it to the garbage.

And a big kudos to PA school children, k-12, who bike and walk to school. Its a wonderful thing for them and for the world around them.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Anneke, a resident of Professorville,
on Jan 15, 2020 at 7:02 pm

To: Declare it historic.

Thank you for your comment. Truly it was a magnificent home. What was shocking to me was that the City made it extremely difficult for anyone in Professorville to change anything to their home. Even replacing a window in the back took months to be approved by the Historical Society. Therefore, I started to call it the Histerical Society.

Somebody paid $30 Million for this home. Unbelievable!




 +   5 people like this
Posted by CrabbyCat, a resident of Fairmeadow,
on Jan 15, 2020 at 10:50 pm

Yes, anyone who has bought loose produce at Trader Joe's knows that TJ's only provides compostable bags in their produce section. Undoubtedly more expensive, but it easily solves the problem.

This is a Safeway problem, not a Girl Scout problem.

You could ask the Manager of Safeway if they are resisting the bag ban or if they have received permission from corporate to authorize the purchase of compostable produce bags.

One hopes Safeway wouldn't choose to give their Mid-town location a slow death by refusing to provide compostable produce bags.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Rick, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Jan 16, 2020 at 10:36 am

@Dan,

You hit the nail on the head. It is clear that the residents of Palo Alto have no real understanding of the overwhelming global problems with waste disposal or global warming. I'm really tired of all the virtue signaling masquerading as "solutions" and the City building bike infrastructure to support the (nont the students!) non-existent cadre of bicycle riders who pack city council and demand we spend money on them.

Any real solution is going to transform people lives in ways that they cannot imagine and will not accept. Your First World Lifestyle is unsupportable and banning plastic bags and straws in a community that already contains that waste stream is a pitiful feel-good measure. I'd say "get real, folks", but watch the replies to this comment to simply validate my position.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by JustGuessing, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Jan 16, 2020 at 4:35 pm

JustGuessing is a registered user.

Anneke: Probably one of the founders of WhatsApp adding to the compound of several houses he is building in that neighborhood. If it's not him, it's someone with a similar fortune. When you have $2.5 billion, $30 million is a rounding error. It's like someone with $10,000 spending $120.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by SJ, a resident of another community,
on Jan 25, 2020 at 2:20 am

CrescentParkAnon- since the United States is accustomed to sending the bulk of our recyclables to Asia for disposal, what if we just didn't create that much recycling refuse in the first place for those "uncivilized slobs who cannot be trusted to throw [our] trash away"?

Possibly I misunderstood your comment, though. And your non-sequitur regarding immigration in a conversation about recycling. And what 'stuff' (in quotation marks) you are referring to.



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