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Plastic bag ban fizzles again in California amid heavy industry lobbying. What do you think?


http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/03/01/plastic.jpg

Another effort in California to ban plastic bags failed in the Legislature late Tuesday night.

That measure, AB 1998, passed the Assembly in June and had the support of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger but faced a withering and well-financed advertising and lobbying campaign from the plastic bag manufacturing industry.

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California would have been the first state in the nation to have a full ban on plastic bags, a goal some environmentalists have been pushing for years.

"I think we missed a great opportunity," said the measure's author, Julia Brownley (D- Santa Monica), as the bill failed another Senate vote just before 11 p.m.

What do you think? Share your views below.

Photo credit: Los Angeles Times

 
Comments () | Archives (99)

Great news. I constantly re-use these so-called "single use" bags all the time. From lunch bags, small trash can liners, picking fruit on my backyard trees to bring into the office, there are 100s of uses. The lefty-loons really need to stop trying to control our lives.

Absolute proof that the lobbyists own this country.
Google George Carlin's "America" video. It says it all.

Absolute proof that the lobbyists own this country.
Google George Carlin's "American" video. It says it all.

Work on the budget! That's the ONLY item on which the legislature and the governor should be working.
Other than that, the only law they should pass right now is a new law suspending the legislature's ability to entertain any new legislation until after the annual budget has been completed and signed. Of course, not that they would follow it. They certainly don't seem bothered that state law requires a budget balanced and on time.
If California goes Republican, this will be the reason.

Once again, money beats logic as the initiative fails because of lobbying.

The plastic bag epidemic is as bad, if not worse, than the BP oil spill. Plastic bags are ruining our oceans. Who voted against this so I can form a campaign against them? Have they not heard of garbage island? So sad. There's no reason to use plastic bags. None.

The plastic bag epidemic is as bad, if not worse, than the BP oil spill. Plastic bags are ruining our oceans. Who voted against this so I can form a campaign against them? Have they not heard of garbage island? So sad. There's no reason to use plastic bags. None.

I'm really torn on this subject. Since many people re-use the plastic grocery store bags and/or use them for trash bags I'm not certain there is enough of an environmental impact. Won't people just by other plastic bags for trash? Just a thought. Please don't shoot the messanger.

So I have mixed feeling about the big spending claim.

Yeah I read the times saying industry spent a lot, but really in the face of all of the times editorials, Heal the Bay’s Jeremy Irons narrated video and all of the twitter floods etc… I am not so sure we can write it off as a single sided spend… more that one side spent money and the other spent social capital.

Both sides wasted resources, but what if all of that effort and resources had been put in to a compromise to:
-educate people not to litter?
-expand recycling?
-Help to change habits and not laws….

While I can understand the Times framing it as a waste of money when was the last time they just wrote about how to encourage people not to litter? There were not winners or losers last night…rather California has been the loser since this law was first promoted years ago and began to suck up resources from all sides...including our state.

Doesn't matter how many jobs it kills. These things need to go, and move the jobs over to a biodegradable bag company.

People should care enough about their State to take personal responsibility for
its environment and take their own re-usable bags to the store with them. The cut in cost for the stores could be passed on to the shopper through lower prices.

Dakota, I agree that the bags have multiple uses post grocery store. Nevertheless, those bags will eventually have to be disposed of. That is when they wreak havoc on the environment. Not all of the bags make it to the landfills and/or recycling facilities. A portion end up in storm drains, the ocean, rivers, the streets. Just look at the picture.

I realize paper is a little more expensive. However, Id be willing to pay a few cents for each paper bag if available (I actually use reusable bags).

I dont consider myself green, I just dont want to trash the world I live in.

Thank goodness. The last thing consumers need is another tax every time they buy something. The last thing businesses need in a recession is a new tax and another impediment to selling their merchandise. The nanny-state just won't give up.

Great news, indeed. Banning plastic bags is an attempt to take over the world. Everyone knows that. Didn't Glen Beck just have a rally to declare this a one bag nation?

Good save California. Everyone knows that cloth or canvass bags are inferior and don't have 100s of uses. Besides they're anti-freedom.

Conservative thinking has got our backs. Continue to pollute the earth, as long as powerful industry lobbyists get their way.

Plastic bags are good. People are bad for not recycling. Science has compared paper bags to plastic bags since the 1990's and plastic is better for the environment.
Don't talk to me about re-usable as the entergy/effort to keep them clean is worse than either plastic or paper.

I think we're going to have a lot more polluted beaches and dead dolphins because of this failure.

ColeslawPatriot doesn't seem to realize that he/she does not speak for the retailers, as they SUPPORTED the plastic bag ban !
unfortunately, lobbyist money speaks louder to politicians than the public will, once again!
i hope the environmental groups and "leftie" activists and politicians give it another go, until the darned thing PASSES !

Look at what you trade away for a moment of plastic bag convenience. 6% of plastic bags are recycled. The rest go into the environment and last forever. They become tiny pieces which marine life think are food. But that food, as turns out, is poison even when it's tiny. BHP and phthalates are proven endocrine disruptors which damage development and hence behavior in animals and humans. Look it up. Why do you think BHP and phthalates are being banned worldwide? Anything you eat out of the ocean has plastic in it.
In Ireland, when plastic bags began costing 23 cents, usage dropped off a cliff overnight. People went back to doing what they had for centuries, bringing their own bags to market. The sun still rises and sets there and Ireland didn't collapse into chaos. Far from it--no more bags in trees.
What happens after we toss bags in a recycle bin? I mean aside from that special, "I did the right thing" feeling? Most is not sorted, it's sent to China for that. Entire families live on enormous heaps of our plastic picking your paper receipts and food bits out of old bags because we can cram our bags in bins, but we can't be bothered to remove receipts. Convenience.
If you can show that the dirty bag issue is endemic, do so, but if you "heard" a guy got sick once, that doesn't compare to the monumental issue of swirling islands of semi-submerged plastic poison big as a small continent in ALL our oceans.
Your right when you say it's about personal choice but you can't "choose" to ignorantly poison the seas because you want to get through the line 5 seconds quicker.
Bring your own bag. Toss it in the wash. Grow up. No problem.

Look at what you trade away for a moment of plastic bag convenience. 6% of plastic bags are recycled. The rest go into the environment and last forever. They become tiny pieces which marine life think are food. But that food, as turns out, is poison even when it's tiny. BHP and phthalates- proven endocrine disruptors which damage development and hence behavior in animals and humans. Look it up. Why do you think BHP and phthalates are being banned worldwide? Anything you eat out of the ocean has plastic in it.
In Ireland, when plastic bags began costing 23 cents, usage dropped off a cliff overnight. People went back to doing what they had for centuries, bringing their own bags to market. The sun still rises and sets there and Ireland didn't collapse into chaos. Far from it--no more bags in trees.
What happens after we toss bags in a recycle bin? I mean aside from that special, "I did the right thing" feeling? Most is not sorted, it's sent to China for that. Entire families live on enormous heaps of our plastic picking your paper receipts and food bits out of old bags because we can cram our bags in bins, but we can't be bothered to remove receipts. Convenience.
If you can show that the dirty bag issue is endemic, do so, but if you "heard" a guy got sick once, that doesn't compare to the monumental issue of swirling islands of semi-submerged plastic poison big as a small continent in ALL our oceans.
Your right when you say it's about personal choice but you can't "choose" to ignorantly poison the seas because you want to get through the line 5 seconds quicker.
Bring your own bag. Toss it in the wash. Grow up. No problem.

People are just plain lazy in this disposable world and don't want to be inconvenienced... Heaven forbid you get innovative. Hard to teach old dogs new tricks eeh? You can do everything with a cloth or paper bag you can do with plastic...

I remember (not so long ago) when you didn't have the choice of paper or plastic and we got along just fine, and had less mess. After re-using them, they still end up most times than not, where they shouldn't.

Perhaps people need to visit the storm drains near the ocean and see all the plastic bags caught up in the trash booms, maybe they can fish them out and re-use them. Or better, go to the beach in the morning (before they rake) and collect the bags from the shore and water, and re-use them. Or the one's tangled in fencing along the roads. Or, go to the landfills and dig them out, and re-use them.... since they don't disintegrate... seems we should re-use them into eternity.

Ban the suckers!

Why just plastic bags? Why not all those packaging? Why is paper any better when it uses trees to make them? Look all these is just nonsense if people use it responsibly. If we the people are not responsible, any law is useless and will add cost to our lives. Sure I use paper bags. They are convenient, useful and readily available to use. You can ask for paper but that's not going to help the environment either. RESPONSIBILITY.. that is what we lack from the top to the bottom. A democratic and capitalist country like this needs the pillar of responsibility, education and freedom to succeed. With more laws comes more liability, comes more lawsuits which adds up cost thus less industry and business to hire people thus less jobs and guess what it feeds onto itself and just spiral down the drain. We are a pollutant too. Earth could also do without humans.

It is awful (and disheartening) to find that polluters like the American Chemistry Council have such an incredible influence over votes. This is a sad day for legislation in California.

This bill had nothing to do with taxes, nothing to do with the state budget, it would NOT have cost our state additional money ... those are all rumors that the American Chemistry Council spewed and were sadly believed. Well, as an optimist, at least I have hope for the future because there many cities have already passed their own plastic bag bans and many more are following.

That's really unfortunate. It's also a little disheartening to see people in the comments section here turning this into a partisan political issue, or thinking purely of themselves and not the millions of other people who use plastic bags or the impact that something that takes 500 years to biodegrade will have in the long term on our lives. I like plastic bags too, they're compact, convenient and I reuse them as well. But I've chosen not to let my personal convenience dictate the future quality of life for everyone else.

What a lot of of people don't realize is that there are biodegradable alternatives to plastic bags. If you prefer the form and function of plastic bags over paper, banning plastic doesn't mean you have to lose that. There are bags made out of compostable material that share the same form/function as plastic but will degrade in a short period of time when exposed to the elements. Banning plastic would have just promoted alternatives. I'm saddened that Californians fell for the rhetoric of companies who's primary interest is their own profit, not our future or our quality of life.

Just goes to show that we still have the best government money can buy at all levels.

I am glad to see that enviromentalist have failed.

 
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