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What’s the Harm?


Thursday, May 2, 2013
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Regarding the Santa Barbara City Council’s desire to ban “recyclable” plastic bags and to impose a paper bag tax: Pursuant to the doctrine of equal protection and application of law, what recyclable bag distributor entities must be affected - grocery stores, fish markets, meat markets, vegetable markets, farmers markets, liquor stores, restaurants, bakeries, drug stores, department stores, apparel stores, hardware stores, dry cleaners, book stores, sporting good stores, etc.? They all must be, to avoid claims of discrimination, arbitrariness, and capriciousness; hence unconstitutionality.

Reusable bags, especially those used for vegetables, meats, and fish, become contaminated by high concentrations of infectious bacteria. Are they really cleanable? Or will they be another source of garbage?

What actual evidence exists that the city’s environs have been actually damaged by recyclable plastic or paper bags? An Environmental Impact Report as to the specific nature of the damage and a study as to economic and legal consequences is mandated. The proposed ordinance must be submitted for voter approval, especially considering the bag-tax provision and the possibility of litigation.

Political correctness notwithstanding, the Law of Unintended Consequences has not been repealed.

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This is all very critical for those people who toss raw, moist, loose meat in their cloth bags.

For the rest of us, not so much.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
May 2, 2013 at 12:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Yeah this letter is just himming and hawing.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 2, 2013 at 12:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I lived and shopped in several foreign countries throughout my lifetime, long before the advent of the disposable plastic bags that are in common use now. We always did our shopping using reusable cloth or woven (string) bags and never suffered from bacterial contamination of our food. I was happy when US stores introduced reusable bags and I use those now that the ones I brought back from France have worn out. My landfill contribution is significantly reduced.

straw48sell (anonymous profile)
May 2, 2013 at 3:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I imagine the cities findings will be similar in nature:

http://smchealth.org/sites/default/fi...

SB2SB (anonymous profile)
May 3, 2013 at 11:20 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Those plastic bags used for meat, produce, and bulk items are exempt in the draft of the bag ordinance:

http://santabarbara.granicus.com/Medi...

Also exempt are restaurants and places that sell hot prepared foods to take away. Deli's in grocery stores will be allowed to continue giving out bags. Farmer's markets are exempt too.

The City seems to be taking a pragmatic approach with its bag ordinance and addresses the largest sources of plastic bag waste ... stores that sell food ... supermarkets, grocery stores, pharmacies like CVS, etc.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
May 5, 2013 at 5:38 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I read the ordinance and noticed that welfare recipients get two free disposable bags per shopping trip. And how does that make sense?
Why not take a non third world approach and charge for disposable bags like they do in Europe at most grocery stores? The number of bags is reduced, the consumer ends up with a choice, and the checkout lines are manageable unlike in Carpenteria. And hell, give poor folks some free bags while your at it off of the money I am going to spend on my bags...

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
May 6, 2013 at 4:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The worst grocery line I ever was in had a woman who kept asking the bagger to fetch her more items so she could get the required number for coupon discounts.

I would not expect this lady to ever remember to bring her bags.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
May 6, 2013 at 10:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I've always felt CostCo should supply benches for people to sit on while waiting in line.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 6, 2013 at 11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Cute but no cigar KV. I do, however, go to Costco for Parmgiano-Reggiano, pecorino romano, Irish butter, and their hard pasta which is the best you can get in the U.S.

EB-Seriously, have you shopped in Carp?

To the rest of youse-How does it make sense to give welfare recipients free disposable bags and make them totally unavailable(even for a fee) to me?

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
May 7, 2013 at 6:49 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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