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Menlo Park: Banning bags on its own terms

Original post made on Jan 9, 2013

Reluctant to cede control to San Mateo County, the Menlo Park City Council wants to add a clause to the proposed ban on single-use plastic bags that would allow the city to decide whether to incorporate any changes the county makes in the future.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, January 9, 2013, 11:05 AM

Comments (8)

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Posted by Annabelle
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jan 9, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Difficult to believe that in this day and age, there are actually people who do not think there is a plastic bag problem.

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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 9, 2013 at 2:20 pm

There isn't a "plastic bag problem." There is an improper disposal problem. Which is a people problem. This can be dealt with through education efforts. Remember the 70's when there was a ton of public service announcements about not littering and poluting. Made people concious of what tehy were doing.

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Posted by Curious?
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jan 9, 2013 at 3:08 pm

How does the bookkeeping work on this? Is there to be a separate kitty for the bag fees & where does that money go? To the city? County? What does the recipient use the money for?
Unless the retailers pre-buy bags then charge that cost to customers as another checkout item, it seems like a huge headache for store accounting. Do the cash registers have to be re-programmed?
Also, in the long run, the differences between 60 vs. 90 day biodegradables seems like a non-issue, since it's degrades or it doesn't.

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Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Jan 9, 2013 at 4:26 pm

It's too bad that Recology hasn't figured out a way for these bags to be included in the Blue recycle bins.

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Posted by ken
a resident of another community
on Jan 9, 2013 at 4:57 pm

About compostable bags, councilwoman Cat Carlton is a bit mixed up.... "Councilwoman Cat Carlton described not including compostable bags as a glaring omission, saying her research suggests that the bags place less stress on the environment compared with paper bags, and were easily recycled." Compostable bags put much more stress on the environment, as they are made from plant starch, which to grow requires a lot of water and fertilizer. Far more resources and energy than traditional plastic bags. They are also about 4-5 times as expensive. And they are NOT recyclable - compostable plastics will only decompose in a municipal composting facility. Mix them in with recycling and you have a contaminate. There ARE biodegradable plastics that will decompose in landfill conditions, but it is illegal in California to label them as biodegradable. Yay California.

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Posted by Michelle Obama
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 9, 2013 at 8:58 pm

One-third of the properties on El Camino and Santa Cruz Avenue have "For Lease" signs on them, and this is what the Menlo Park City Council is concerned about?

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Posted by Shane @FactoryDPromos
a resident of another community
on Jan 18, 2013 at 11:31 am

We applaud the city council's efforts to protect the environment and their community through the use of reusable bags. [Portion removed; don't include links to commercial websites.] Congratulations!


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Posted by Cherie
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 18, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Should city government order residents to stop using safe, hygienic, plastic bags, forcing them to incur increasing costs in their everyday expenses? Should government force retailers to charge for paper bags? In truth, the “ban” is actually a fee--a fee on every paper bag you get from groceries and all other stores. (Interestingly, in D.C. they charge 5 cents a bag, not the 25 cents that Menlo Park seeks to mandate.) Such charges on everyday items unfairly especially burden people on low incomes. Ah—but let them buy reusable plastic bags, you say? Those bags are notorious for harboring burgeoning e-coli colonies, cross-contaminating foods and making people sick. But what about the garbage in the ocean, you say? The environmental arguments are scare tactics and falsehoods. There is no direct connection between the plastic bag you get at Draegers and the “Pacific Garbage Patch,” whose size, by the way, has been grossly exaggerated. However there IS a connection between allowing government to micromanage our day-to-day lives, and the “garbage police” (aka: trash supervisors) active in cities like Cleveland, who literally prowl through residents’ trash and fine them $100 to $500 if they are not recycling “enough”, and/or generating “too much” trash. Is that the future you want? If not, come to the Menlo Park City Council meeting on January 22nd at 7pm to oppose this latest attack on our freedoms under the guise of “saving the planet”.

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