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California to be first U.S. state to ban plastic bags

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Well done, CA!

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

What?! California is leading the way at over-reacting like a bunch of crazed leftist hippies and banning the evils of modern man?! This is news? It ALWAYS seems to start in California and spread out from there that I'm no longer shocked by these stories. Some make prefect sense but some clearly haven't been well thought out. What about garbage bags?

We already pay a stupid fee to most stores to buy a plastic bag with their freaking advertising and yet it costs them nearly nothing to make that bag en masse. I'd pay that fee if the bag were blank with no problems but I'll be damn if I should have to pay a store to advertise for them. Those are the stores that I bring the competition's bags to use and watch their reactions. I've been given free bags on more than 80% of those shopping trips. In most cases it has nothing to do with the environment and everything to do with $$$$.

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

Great news! Get people to use reusable bags. Much better for the environment. Create less trash.

Plastic bags are so wasteful.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

KnowBetter: I guess you haven't seen the satellite pictures that show a ball of garbage in the pacific and Atlantic oceans. The one in the pacific is larger than the state of Texas and it's biggest contributor is plastic. Who cares if their motives are about money or not, if it slows down the accumulative rate of unnecessary plastics (getting into the environment), I'm all for it.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

They should implement this in Japan. After shopping I come home and have 50 new plastic bags.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Knowbetter: You talk about cost but only the money cost which with our wonderful economic system we are forced to endure, never reflects the real costs of things - they exclude all the externalised costs - all the social and environaental bads. The cost of plastic bags should reflect all these costs accociated with their production, use and disposal.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

A symbolic law with little in the way of common sense to back it. Plastic bags make up little more than 1% of trash discarded in America each year, 90% of these bags end up being recycled. Left unmentioned is that paper bags are more difficult to recycle than plastic bags.

As much as I love California, and want to open a business there, the amount of taxes, regulations, and red tape makes it out of the question.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

What?! California is leading the way at over-reacting like a bunch of crazed leftist hippies and banning the evils of modern man?! This is news? It ALWAYS seems to start in California and spread out from there that I'm no longer shocked by these stories. Some make prefect sense but some clearly haven't been well thought out. What about garbage bags?

Why do you think I left California? That's exactly why! California has turned into a giant ghetto hippie progressive crime ridden state and YES, they are always the first to start doing looney things, like electing Jerry Brown-AGAIN as if once wasn't bad enough. That this started in California, I am NOT surprised. The progressive police will take away ANY and ALL your rights away. Pretty soon, you won't even be able to turn on your cell phone either. Happy to visit, sad that's becoming a land for the Hollywood and silicon elite. Love to visit, but wouldn't want to live there again.

@Sangetsu

Exactly!

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

My son was astounded at the difference between Japan's barrens and California's lush diversity when he first scuba dove there. California takes its environment very seriously - even helium balloon releases, once a staple at Disneyland, are banned.

Sea animals often mistake plastic bags for squid, and their ingestion leads to predictable consequences. A tad of inconvenience for a vast benefit to marine life is exactly what Californians support - one reason why California is not Texas.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I notice that not a single word is being said about how almost all supermarkets outside major urban areas (and sometimes in them too) offer automobile parking at no additional cost. This is even written into the law in many places.

So a pedestrian walks to the supermarket, buys some heavy items and needs a bag to take them home in, and is charged 10 cents. Another person drives to the supermarket, parks in the supermarket lot at no extra charge, buys some heavy items and doesn't need a bag because they can sit in the trunk of the car.

The pedestrian pays money and the driver pays nothing. The pedestrian's impact on the environment is one plastic bag. The driver's car puts pollution in the air, contributes to the heat island effect, and takes up valuable space outside the supermarket (making that pedestrian's walk to the store that much longer).

This is something that environmental groups are backing?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

This is something that environmental groups are backing?

ThonTaddeo, realistically, how many drivers eschew bags? Also, gas emission pollution and that caused by detritous runoff from rivers are apples and oranges.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@sangetsu

A symbolic law with little in the way of common sense to back it.

Plastic bags are already banned or taxed in many locations in many locations around the world.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phase-out_of_lightweight_plastic_bags

Plastic bags make up little more than 1% of trash discarded in America each year

Source?

90% of these bags end up being recycled.

Source?

Left unmentioned is that paper bags are more difficult to recycle than plastic bags.

Source?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Discarded plastic bags make a lot of US scenery look just filthy. Don't even get started with the cities.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Laguna, you'll be surprised at what happens once the 10-cent charge comes in. At my local supermarket here in Tokyo (where parking is also free -- that is to say, subsidized by all customers including those who cannot drive), just a few months ago they instituted a 2-yen charge for bags, I've seen people juggling items in their arms when a bag would really have helped, and have also seen angry customers berating the poor register staff for something that they had no hand in deciding on.

And the points is not that they do eschew bags, but that they could. And they pay no additional charges for the massive infrastructure that stores have to build so that they can get their goods home easily, or for the environmental impact of that infrastructure. And we're charging people for something as trivial as plastic bags.

As an environmentalist myself, I'd really have no problem paying 10 cents for a bag if those other big polluters were paying a dollar an hour for their parking spaces.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

papigiulioSep. 05, 2014 - 05:39PM JST They should implement this in Japan. After shopping I come home and have 50 new plastic bags.

Aren't they recyclable?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

If the supermarkets were to sell cloth bags that can survive a washing machine and dryer, I'll be all for this ban. This is important since cloth bags are notorious for harboring a lot of germs if unwashed.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If the supermarkets were to sell cloth bags that can survive a washing machine and dryer, I'll be all for this ban. This is important since cloth bags are notorious for harboring a lot of germs if unwashed.

Yes, this is what most environmentalists never tell us, that cloth bags must be washed on a regular basis or they could cause you to become ill.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Banning whatever is stupid, but we're talking about leftard California here. That said, I always carry a washable nylon bag for shopping because they are stronger. A bargain at any ¥100 shop.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

ThonTaddeo: I guess you never heard of simply using a reusable bag at the market or using a bicycle to get there, instead of a car. Yet you claim to be an environmentalist?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

EXCELLENT !!!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I guess you haven't seen the satellite pictures that show a ball of garbage in the pacific and Atlantic oceans.

Do you have a source for these pictures? Because all the scientists I have heard talking about the 'garbage' patchs floating in the ocean say that they are actually mostly very small pieces and quite spread out. Not saying they aren't a concern, but lying about them is a good and quick way to get people to ignore you.

http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/encyclopedia/great-pacific-garbage-patch/?ar_a=1

For many people, the idea of a "garbage patch" conjures up images of an island of trash floating on the ocean. In reality, these patches are usually made up of tiny bits of plastic, called microplastics. Microplastics that make up the majority of garbage patches can't always be seen by the naked eye. Satellite imagery of oceans doesn't show a giant patch of garbage.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I use my own bags at the grocers and if I get a plastic bag it gets used for trash or recycled. It's the ones that people let blow all over the place that are the big problem - and probably what's causing the reaction.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hawaii has banned plastic shopping bags for years. They did it at the county level with Maui County taking the lead and the others following soon thereafter. Maui and Kauai Counties bans went into effect in January of 2011 and the effect on the environment has been remarkable. The main push behind the bans in Hawaii was to protect the ocean environment that surrounds the state. A number of marine animals (notably the green sea turtle or Honu) are known to mistake the plastic bags for their favorite food which is jellyfish and having their digestive systems plugged with plastic bags has a very detrimental effect on them.

All in all, the landscape is less blighted, the turtles are less endangered and most people have seemed to have adjusted just fine.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I reuse and recycle all plastic bags... if I don't have the option of a plastic grocery bag for garbage then I'm going to have to buy plastic bags in which case there will be more plastic manufactured... just use biodegradable ones...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There's something similar in effect in Britain at the moment. Not a ban, but a charge for single use bags. Northern Ireland introduced the charge, and from what I hear, they charge quite a lot. Then on October 1st 2011, Wales introduced the carrier bag charge as well. All shops across Wales charge a minimum of 5p per single use bags. Scotland joined in last year as well, leaving just England which will finally join the rest of Britain next year. As someone who works at a supermarket in Wales, I look forward to England joining in. No more will I here "5p for a plastic bag? That's theft!" No, it's not theft, it's discouraging the use of single use bags in favour of the more environmentally friendly (as well as larger and stronger) re-usable bags. It's good to see that California is looking to ban the plastic bags. All countries should stop with the non-recyclable, non-degradable bags.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

What kind of demented moron gives a thumbs down for asking if plastic bags are recyclable ? LOL

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ossan

If you consider ocean confetti recycled material, then yes.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVoFeELi_vQ

IOW, no they are a pollutant. And a very bad one at that.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Good on CA, though the ban should take part in stages. By that I mean, for example, some should be kept on hand in the event that a shopper did not bring anything to carry their products with and a paper bag might not suffice. In such a case, a plastic bag could be given for a few bucks, not just 10 cents for the other bags. Then zone them out completely.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch: Four particles per cubic meter! 5 kilograms of plastic per square kilometer of ocean!

Heavens to Betsy!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_garbage_patch

Despite its enormous size and density (4 particles per cubic meter), the patch is not visible from satellite photography, nor is it necessarily detectable to casual boaters or divers in the area, as it consists primarily of a small increase in suspended, often-microscopic particles in the upper water column. ...

The patch is not easily visible because it consists of very small pieces, almost invisible to the naked eye,[7] most of its contents are suspended beneath the surface of the ocean,[8] and the relatively low density of the plastic debris at, in one scientific study, 5.1 kilograms of plastic per square kilometer of ocean area.[9] ...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

As was stated quite eloquently in an episode of Absolutely Fabulous. "Why don't we just tax the stupid people?!?"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gdsc3GiOYs

Clearly, those plastic bags ARE recyclable and yet, CLEARLY only STUPID people would toss them in the garbage or out their car window or where ever. So why ban them when they have a use, can be recycled and create jobs? Right, I know, pandering to the lowest common denominator... STUPID. Soon the world will be covered in environmentally safe, organic, fair trade, renewable bubble wrap so we can not be held responsible for our own actions or in-actions that lead to some sort of incident. Go ahead you leftist, tree hugging, Al Gore brain washed hippies, neg away because you know it's true and the truth hurts.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

My apologies for stating that this giant ball of garbage can be seen by satellite. I didn't read updated information in regards to this. When this subject first made big news, I remembered seeing posted images of its size from space. None of those images are on google now. That being said, plastic IS a huge contributor to this problem. Turbotsat: 4 particles per cubic meter is only an estimate and that is a lot, if you compare it to the total space effected. As scientist admit, it's nearly impossible to get an accurate reading because many plastics sink just below the surface, some sinks to the bottom, some floats, while others are so small they fall through collection nets and can only be roughly determined with water sampling. If anyone doesn't think plastics are a problem for our beaches & oceans, please visit Shichirigahama beach after a strong wind and high tide. Also Kuya 808 makes some great points of how plastics affect sea life and how well a simple change helped solve problems.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

4 particles per cubic meter is only an estimate and that is a lot, if you compare it to the total space effected

4 teeny, tiny, little mostly almost invisible to human eye particles, and they're probably not talking sea floor to sea level here, just near the top, or maybe even top 1-m layer.

JTDM's youtube link's got an animated rotifer choking on one :)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Turbotsat: So you just suggested that there could be much more plastic particles in all the other depths of the ocean besides the top 1-m layer. The studies already have proven that plastics have been found floating at the top to the bottom sea floor. They also proved, most tiny particles got that way by "breaking down" and as plastics break down they tend to sink to the bottom. So top layer water samples DONT reflect the total accurately, it's just an estimate. Its sad that many can't see the importance of taking care of our environment, especially when something as simple as using less plastic bags can help. How will you ever survive without your plastic grocery bags?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The notion that environmental legislation is somehow a breach of your civil liberties is cretinous.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

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