San Mateo County releases plastic bag ban EIR

County planning commission holds hearing on July 11

Those plastic bags at the local grocery store are a step closer to extinction. Menlo Park and 24 other Peninsula cities may restrict the use of single-use carryout bags, and San Mateo County has released a draft environmental impact report to explore the effects.

The ban targets single-use bags, except those used by restaurants and for produce, and would also implement a 10 cent fee for paper bags until Dec. 31, 2014, and then hike the fee to 25 cents per paper bag.

Review the draft EIR online here or at the community development resource desk at the Civic Center at 701 Laurel St. in Menlo Park.

The only public hearing on the draft report, which was released June 22, will be held by the San Mateo County Planning Commission on July 11 at 9 a.m. in 400 County Center in Redwood City. Submit written comments to through the close of business on Aug. 6.

Menlo Park will hold an informational meeting on July 25 at 6 p.m. in the Arrillaga Recreation Center at 600 Alma St. Comments will not be entered into the record. To help residents make the switch away from plastic, the city has reusable shopping bags available at the administration building in the Civic Center.


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Posted by Carol
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 2, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Take a look at this slide show with comments by informed persons or institutions such as National Geographic:

Web Link

Now, is there any question that we must ban plastic bags asap if we're to save this planet?

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Posted by Tigerlily
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 2, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Let’s see now: we’re being told we have to ban plastic bags to “save the planet.” If the planet’s salvation depended on banning plastic bags, it’s life must be hanging by a thread. Seems there’s a sucker born every minute, who can’t spot an obvious scam. Banning plastic bags, besides being a brain-dead idea and a grand nuisance, will not even substantially decrease the number of bags we use, it will only decrease the money in our wallets by forcing us to PAY for the bags that have long been considered part of customer service. As such, this will mean piles of money for retailers, and also for companies that make plastic bags and “reusable” bags, as people will have to keep buying them. Furthermore, plastic bags keep produce fresh the longest, which means fewer trips to the grocery store to buy more produce—and fewer bags. Besides which most people DO reuse their plastic bags for a variety of purposes. Ask dog owners.
Just like the Cap and Trade plan, another, more dramatically ambitious “world-saving” scam, the plastic bag ban/fee actually accomplishes only one thing: laying another tax on “we, the people.” The number of bags used will not change, but our bank balances will go down, as will our quality of life, as the eco-bullies and the billionaires who fund them find more and more ways to control our every action, and to profit in the process. Ask Al Gore.

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Posted by Gunste
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Jul 2, 2012 at 6:59 pm

I think the problem is with people who scatter them carelessly. I use plastic bags for garbage, the brown can.if they are banned, I shall have to buy them to bag that garbage. Trashing all over is a people problem, not a trashing problem. People who have no regard for the environment. The littering fines are rarely if ever enforced, there are just signs that threaten BIG fines. Do not blame the bags, blame the people.

On the other hand, I grew up in Europe, where everybody used reusable bags, because the were no plastic bags available yet. Mostly there were nets, which stowed into very small space or a pocket.

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Posted by Hank Lawrence
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jul 3, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Biodegradable single use plastic bags are the answer. To ban the use of plastic bags will create a health risk not to mention the inconvenience it will cause all the Menlo park residents. Biodegradable plastic bags cost a bit more but do address environmental pollution concerns while not introducing health risk.

Please check out this web site

Web Link

City Council Members please don't let the Agenda 21 environmentalists affect your decisons. You can protect the environment while not putting our health at risk and not creating a terrible inconvenience for us all.

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Posted by Bev
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 11, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Perhaps we should consider banning feminine hygiene articles that contain plastic, as well. They add a significant amount of plastic to landfills. (Granted, fewer birds are choking on maxi pads). All-cotton tampons have a lower environmental impact. However, there would be a significant tradeoff in cost, convenience, and hygiene for women.

Oh wait, there are the same issues, only for everyone, with a ban on plastic grocery bags. It's not that using fewer bags is a bad idea (I'll bring my re-usable bag just the same as always) it's just a nontrivial question of priorities.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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