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Do you support a ban on plastic bags in Culver City?

1. Yes! Plastic is terrible. We need to move on and become more earth-conscious.
2. No! Plastic is great. If they ban plastic bags, it will cost jobs. In this economy, we can't afford to lose any more jobs!
3. It's fine to ban plastic bags, as long as they're phased out slowly. Maybe give people a year.
4. Recyclable plastic bags seemed like a good idea, but now that we know that they aren't so recyclable after all, it's good that we get rid of them.
5. I don't care in the least. Paper? Plastic? Fabric? Just give me my groceries and I'll be on my way.

Liz Kinnon Says:

Fri, Oct 08 2010 09:40 AM

I don't know Andy Shrader, but I agree with virtually everything he (or she) said. People rarely change their mindsets - even about vital things like the health of the earth that sustains all of us - unless they are shaken out of complacency, apathy, or plain convenience. The environmental problems created by plastic are no joke. They will not go away; instead, they will multiply and cause increasing harm. We must look at the big picture, stop making excuses and procrastinating, and act now. Why wait??

Fran Mac Says:

Tue, Sep 28 2010 12:52 PM

I had no idea that I was saying the same thing as the ACC. And actually, I think you misinterpreted my words, Andy.

I am for a ban on plastic bags. We just need to ease into it. Perhaps we should take a year. And in that year, I think the grocery stores should stop saying, "Is plastic okay?" And start saying, "Did you bring your bags today, or would you like to buy some? You know, soon we won't have plastic bags anymore, so you may want to stock up on reusable bags."

My mother told me that one of the stores in her neighborhood stopped giving out bags altogether. They sell reusable ones and encourage their patrons to bring their own bags. Her local grocery stores have signs posted in the parking lots reminding people to bring in their reusable bags. Great ideas! Culver City stores should post signs, too. I can't tell you how many times I have found myself at the checkout counter and remembered that all of my reusable bags were sitting in the backseat of my car!

My point is that it doesn't make sense to do this overnight. And let's give those people working in the plastic bag factories a chance to find something else before we just shut them down and force more than 1,000 people out of their jobs.

Am I still in line with the ACC, Andy?

By the way, I appreciate your post. The facts and figures you quote give me hope for the future. I don't think we are on opposite sides here. I think you are simply more aggressive than I am, but we are on the same team.

Andy Shrader Says:

Fri, Sep 24 2010 10:07 AM

Interesting that Fran Mac's comments are exactly what the American Chemistry Council (ACC) is saying. I wonder if she is employed by them. The ACC "donated" $3900 to our State Senator Curren Price, who, despite overwhelming support from his constituents for the plastic bag ban, voted against it.

According to Businessweek's Eric Pooley's new book, "Climate War," in China, where they're spending billions of dollars per year on sustainable projects and energy, 500,000 jobs have been CREATED in the past year and up to a million by the end of this year. Doing the right thing for the planet, for the place we live, actually creates jobs.

Banning plastic bags will not cost money. It will save grocery stores money from not having to buy them and those savings could and should be passed along to consumers.

USA TODAY reports today (Sept. 23) that in Washington State, a nickel fee for plastic bags has resulted in "little griping" from consumers and $1.1 million raised from the bag fee to help clean up Washington's Anacostia River. Most consumers have quickly and easily switched over to reusable bags.

The 5 Gyres project (www.5gyres.org) is sailing across each of our oceans taking samples and finding plastic nearly everywhere in our oceans. Plastic is killing sea mammals, birds and fish and, even if you don't care about sea life, you might be interested to know that plankton is attaching itself to the floating plastic and being eaten by fish, potentially fish we humans eat. The plastic we remove from the ocean could protect the health of each and every one of us.

In California, we have a tremendous responsibility, due to our extensive coastline, to do what we can to help clean up our oceans. Our oceans sustain the planet, at the least, bringing us rainfall and therefore food. We don't know what a tipping point in pollution will do to our oceans and I, for one, don't want to find out.

Let's ban single-use plastic bags in Culver City and Los Angeles, offer 100% recycled paper bags for 25 cents a piece, and encourage people to change over to reusable bags. It is simply a behavior change. Annoying at first, but second nature after about the first month.

Fran Mac Says:

Fri, Sep 10 2010 07:33 PM

I am a huge proponent of becoming more "earth-conscious." But in this economy, I think we also need to be realistic and people-conscious.

I've heard that if the ban goes through, over 1,000 individuals will lose their jobs. What will they do? In this economy, recently laid-off CEOs are having a hard time finding new employment. What will newly laid-off factory workers do to feed their families?

I agree that we need to get there eventually. I think the best way is to do what we can right now on an individual choice basis, and follow up with the plastic bag ban after the economy turns around. ... When will that happen??? I hope it's soon!

Casey K Says:

Thu, Sep 09 2010 03:49 PM

Banning plastic bags is part of Culver City's move to be more "green," something all residents and businesses should support. There can be more strategies than just an outright ban which will be hard to manage for large stores (think Target) and the Farmers Market. It will take time. Til then: Reward people who reuse bags. Charge people who use plastic (or paper bags for that matter). Make and give away "Shop in Culver City" bags for residents and shoppers to re-use instead. If Trader Joe's can do it, so can we!

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