Surf City to repeal bag ban

Surf City to repeal bag ban

plastic bags, simanca, cagle, Oct. 5, 2014It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes governments actually repeal bad laws.

That is happening in Huntington Beach, where, reported the Orange County Register:

the council took the first step to repeal the ban on single-use plastic bags, saying there’s no evidence that it helps the environment and that voters should decide whether to ban the bags.

The council voted 6-1, with Mayor Jill Hardy dissenting, to have city staff draft an ordinance repealing the ban and get a $5,000 environmental impact report on what the repercussions could be, if any, without the ban.

That could be a good omen for the effort to repeal a statewide ban enacted by the Legislature, but currently held up pending the initiative’s fate.

I live in Huntington Beach and went to the local grocery store Thursday and asked for plastic bags. “I’ve been asked that 19 times today,” the checkout clerk replied. “But No. We don’t have them yet.”

I’m looking forward to that day. Then I’ll see fewer cases of an enviro-person bringing in a germ-laden “reusable” bag and contaminating the whole store.

I’m pretty resistant to colds and hadn’t had one for two years until last fall. Then I got three in a row. Was it from the contaminated enviro-bags? It’s impossible to tell.


Sick bags

USA Today reported:

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — Jamie Norton considered himself an early adopter of reusable shopping bag, keeping them in the trunk of his car so they’re on hand whenever he stops for groceries.

But washing the bags wasn’t part of the routine.

“If it gets too dirty, I just toss it out,” Norton, 61, said as he walked out of Jensen’s grocery store here with one of his bags full of food. “I have never washed a reusable bag.”

Research shows the vast majority of shoppers are like Norton. A 2011 study from scientists at the University of Arizona and Loma Linda University found only 3% of shoppers with multi-use bags said they regularly washed them. The same study found bacteria in 99% of bags tested; half carried coliform bacteria while 8% carried E. coli, an indicator of fecal contamination.

“I classify them as pretty dirty things, like the bottom of your shoes,” said Ryan Sinclair of the Loma Linda University School of Public Health, a co-author of the study.

He is finalizing another study he hopes to publish soon looking at how pathogens spread through grocery stores with the help of reusable bags. The study, conducted at a central California grocery store in early 2013, involved spraying bags with a bacteria not harmful to humans but transported in a similar way to norovirus, a leading cause of gastrointestinal disease linked to more than 19 million illnesses each year in the United States.

The tracer bacteria was detected in high concentrations on shopping carts, at the checkout counter and on food items shoppers had touched but kept on the shelf.

Sinclair said the contamination cycle often began right after shoppers entered the store and placed their bags in the bottom or the baby carrier of a shopping cart, two places notorious for germs.

As my heavily accented Russian teacher used to say back at the Defense Language School in Monterey when an obnoxious Navy student acted up, “That’s dsggguzting!”



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  1. Donkey
    Donkey 24 January, 2015, 14:18

    The RAGWUS feeders know that sales have gone down from people choosing not to shop in bag free cities. Only the eco-nuts want bag bans, the mettlesome little doomers of whine!! 🙂

    Reply this comment
  2. eck
    eck 24 January, 2015, 18:26

    OMG!! Something sensible from some elected “representatives”.

    Reply this comment
  3. Joseph
    Joseph 25 January, 2015, 11:41

    Germs in reusable grocery bags are not the only problem. If the grocery stores could afford to be honest, they would acknowledge that they hate reusable bags. The problem is that a lot of people keep their bags in pest infested homes. Think cockroaches. Their roaches find a nice dark comfortable habitat in those reusable grocery bag, which often have moisture from the condensate from transported cold items and organic residue from produce. This provides them with sustenance, and they then happily go about reproducing. And when the ecologically correct then bring those bags back into the grocery store and open them to the light, the roach riders scurry out… And find a place to hide. Like in some produce. Which someone puts into their ecologically correct reusable grocery bag. In this manner, a lot of people unwittingly bring roaches into their previously uninfested home from the grocery store.

    The grocery stores are constantly fighting a battle against pest infestation in their facilities. The advent of reusable grocery bags has made the battle immeasurably more difficult.

    Also, even if the ban on plastic bags is lifted, we can rest assured that the 10 cent fee for bags will remain. (I have never succeeded in getting anyone in a store to acknowledge whether the store or the state gets the dime. I suspect the government is the beneficiary.) Governments have an enduring affection for tax revenue, so they are unlikely to relinquish their grip on your dime..

    And maybe they will charge 20 cents for the ecologically incorrect plastic bag and only a dime for the paper ones.

    Reply this comment
  4. Stop the Bag Ban
    Stop the Bag Ban 2 February, 2015, 20:59

    It is telling that very few of the major California papers picked up on the Huntington Beach bag ban repeal. After all, Huntington Beach seems to be the first city anywhere to repeal their bag ban (without being forced to by the voters). Isn’t that newsworthy? Apparently it doesn’t fit the main stream newspaper’s agenda, so it doesn’t get reported.

    The bag ban is not about preserving our environment or addressing an issue (litter), because if you read it, you will find NOTHING in there that deals with controlling litter, picking up trash, further enforcement of litter laws, or capture devices to stop litter from entering the environment. No, the bill is ONLY about control. It is about controlling stores (and thus, the people) by banning one particular use of an item, and the people by imposing a 10 cent “minimum fee”. If bag banners were honest about wanting to solve a problem, they would propose a law that would do that. But this law is simply about controlling people. Apparently, either they can’t make a good case to the people or the people are just too stupid to make the right choice, so they decide they must regulate us.

    To answer Joseph’s question, the stores collect and keep 100% of the “minimum fee.” (And you wonder why the big grocer’s are on board for this???) They had to make it a minimum fee, because if it was a tax, it would require a public vote. They wanted to avoid the public vote at all costs, so call it a “minimum fee” instead. Any other items have “minimum fees?” None that I know of. What a slippery bunch these enviro-nazis are, and the willing politicians that go along with them! No one seems worried about the government fixing a “minimum fee” for something for the first time?

    See our website for more information, and feel free to contact us and join us. We are a citizen group (not funded by any industry or company) that fights against the bag ban.

    Reply this comment

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