Time to put a wooden stake through the plastic bag ban

Well, I’m laughing at myself over the plastic bag ban – that turned into the BFD of 2013.  I went to meetings for several years trying to keep on top of that, and when it looked like it would be passed, along with statewide restrictions, I went about trying to get used to the idea that I would ALWAYS, no matter WHAT, have to have those cloth/plastic sacks handy. I’ve actually gotten pretty good. Great – now I find, the ban did not go through, and, the only woman who still seems interested in pursuing it is scheduled to retire within a year. 

I have to laugh at me because, this was a rollicking good conversation, we’ve beaten it to the floor, and then as of May, Silly Council pulled the rug out from under it and left us hanging in this super-charged anxiety. You should NOT have to worry about stuff that DUMB, Folks, not when Recession and Depression are knocking at your door. 

Council and staff pulled the item, according to the article below, because they were afraid to get sued by the plastic bag proponents – Save the Plastic Bag!  Stephanie Taber had made a solid gold point months earlier, when, along with some other folks, she asked  council to at least put the local ban on hold until they found out what the legislature was going to do with the statewide ban. To think, Ann Schwab was making a duplicate of state efforts, just as a campaign pitch. She doesn’t really care about the environment, don’t buy that. She has set herself up as The Queen of Sustainability, but she doesn’t really want to do anything. When I asked her to help me make the Enterprise Record comply with the law regarding pulp mailers, she squeaked and ran back into her hole. 

No, the bag ban wasn’t about getting rid of plastic bags – read it yourself. It only applied to big grocers, and it’s just plain popular with the liberals today to pick on big grocery chains. But, don’t cry for the big grocers – they will just pass the cost of this melarkey onto you, whether in the form of higher grocery prices or a fee for a bag. 

This really made me feel for young parents. Going to the grocery store can be enough of a nightmare without adding this kind of persecution. 

Well, read the article below for yourself. I personally am for gathering signatures on a petition to stop salary sucker Lori Barker from re-writing this ban. Let me know if you’re interested, or if you hear it coming from anybody else.

Plastic bag ban does not take effect
today in Chico
By ASHLEY GEBB-Staff Writer
POSTED: 01/01/2014 12:00:00 AM PST
CHICO — Plastic grocery bags still have the OK in Chico today,
despite efforts by the Chico City Council to outlaw their use by
January 2014.
Today was supposed to be the day a ban on plastic grocery bags
took effect in Chico, but after an introductory reading of the law in
May, the item was never brought back to the council. Meanwhile,
recent favorable court determinations have supported City
Attorney Lori Barker’s decision to work with city officials to
reagendize the ordinance sometime this year.
“We feel pretty confident at this point our environmental
determination would be upheld,” Barker said.
An attorney with the Los Angeles-based Save The Plastic Bag
Coalition had threatened legal action if the City Council proceeded
with its ban. Stephen L. Joseph said the coalition objects to the ordinance’s adoption without prior
preparation and certification of an environmental impact report.
In April, the council delayed potential adoption of an ordinance to ban plastic bags while Barker
investigated if it poses conflicts with the California Environmental Quality Act. Councilor Scott
Gruendl asked that the ordinance adoption be tabled until June 18 to allow Barker adequate time
to process the 800 pages of documentation that accompanied Joseph’s request.
One month later, the bag ban was back on the agenda, and tabled once again. The bag ban did not
appear on the agenda June 18 and has not since.

In recent months, Barker waited to see the outcome of lawsuits that the Save the Plastic Bag
Coalition had filed against the city of San Francisco and Marin County challenging their
environmental review determinations. Both were recently decided in favor of the local
governments in California’s 1st District Court of Appeal.
Barker said Tuesday she will be speaking with Mayor Scott Gruendl, City Manager Brian
Nakamura and City Clerk Debbie Presson to identify the best timeline to present the council with
the ordinance, wanting to ensure meeting time allows for anticipated discussion.
Another item to discuss with the city officials is the phase-in date, Barker said. When the council
was looking to adopt the bag ban originally, a six-month timeline was scheduled to allow for an
education campaign and for stores to make the transition.
Barker said she expects to again bring forward the same ordinance she would have presented in
May. It would prohibit specified stores from providing double-handled single-use plastic carryout
bags and require a 10-cent charge for single-use recyclable paper bags.
Stores affected by the prohibition would include retail stores that sell grocery and nonfood items
and have gross annual sales of $2 million or more; stores with 10,000 or more square-feet of retail
space and a pharmacy; and convenience stores engaged in retail sale of goods such as milk, bread
and soda.
Plastic bags without handles would still be OK under the ban, such as those used to hold meat,
produce and prescription medication.


4 thoughts on “Time to put a wooden stake through the plastic bag ban

  1. That report only deals with impacts to the Private Development Fund. It mentions the Sustainability Task Force, but only in relationship to the costs for development staff being unrecoverable by fees. The plastic bag ordinance is a General Fund project. City Attorney costs are partially distributed to other Funds via the Cost Allocation Plan; however, most work on the project is 100% General Fund.

    • God, you’re so sharp, how do you keep track of all this stuff and still remember to brush your teeth and put on pants in the morning?

      That report made me so mad, I “fly read it” – you know – I was flying pissed, and alot of the words just bounced off my head like bugs off the windshield of a jet. I am going to make myself read it again. Maybe I’ll get one of those blood-pressure cuffs over at Rite Aid and see what happens. Think those things ever blow up?

      I’d like to ask somebody how much total has been spent on the bag ban, but won’t, because that would amount to a few hours work just totaling that up. I know it’s expensive to have Lori do anything, I wish she’d just let it go.

      The other day I found a World Market bag scuttering up my street. It’s almost identical to a grocery bag, except it’s made out of a thicker mill of plastic that will last a lot longer in the landfill than the average grocery bag. But, by definition, it will not be banned. The idiocy of this thing just makes me want to jump over the moon.

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