Washington trying again to ban plastic bags

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Super S
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Washington trying again to ban plastic bags

Post by Super S » January 16th, 2020, 7:22 am

https://www.kiro7.com/news/local/plasti ... BKRJFT6JY/

I don't like how they mandate that the customer has to pay for bags under these programs.

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Re: Washington trying again to ban plastic bags

Post by storewanderer » January 17th, 2020, 5:51 pm

Well, not all customers have to pay a fee. Food stamp users don't have to pay a fee. And I am routinely not charged the fee in rural towns, but find I am charged more often (but still not always) in, say, Sacramento or the bay area.

I agree if there was no fee attached I would say these are misguided laws, but I would not be against them per se.

But attaching the fee was the only way these political groups pushing this stuff were able to get the retailers to go along with it.

So in the end the loser is the average customer who pays for groceries using a form of payment other than food stamps. The few fringe groups pushing this crap feel empowered, a few politicians can pat themselves on the back for accomplishing something, and the retailers pass the cost of the bags at least partially onto the customer.

These bans routinely get passed without the public having a clue. Denver recently passed a 10 cent fee on paper or plastic bags (Colorado law prohibits a bag ban, but does not prohibit a bag fee). So they will keep thin bags there and charge 10 cents, effective July 1. A friend of mine in Denver who typically pays a lot of attention to what is going on, was completely unaware the bag ban passed. This is how these things get passed. The average citizen does not know. The groups pushing these bans organize and jam pack the city hall, bring in a few "bag monsters" big people wrapped in plastic bags to demonstrate how much litter the bags cause, show some videos of the plastic trash patch in the ocean (not sure that even exists but if it does 95% of that trash is from Asia) and get the city council to believe everyone wants these bans/fees.

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Re: Washington trying again to ban plastic bags

Post by Alpha8472 » January 18th, 2020, 4:18 am

I looked at the super thick plastic bags that Walmart uses in California. The website is www.superbag.com

These bags supposedly are not made from oil, but made from natural gas. The bag company claims that they are made in the USA and are keeping reusable bags out of the dumps. The bags are made from number 4 recyclable plastic.

The superthick bags are supposed to eliminate double bagging and are sturdier. I can see some of the logic, but I also know that most people throw these bags in the trash. Virtually no one brings these back to the store to reuse or recycle. Recycling plastic uses up a ton of energy and labor. Recycling is very polluting and plastic recycling is rarely done. Most plastic was shipped to China and China just let it sit in storage. Now China has rejected taking most plastic. Many recycling centers in California have closed as taking in plastic is no longer very profitable. Recycling has a huge carbon footprint and uses up resources.

The bag ban was supposed to do certain things: help the environment, reduce plastic usage, encourage renewable resources such as paper bags. None of this is happening. Thicker plastic bags are being thrown away and more plastic is going to landfills. Most stores do not use paper bags. The only good thing is that perhaps a sea turtle will not eat a thin plastic bag thinking that it is a jelly fish. Other than that, there are now thicker plastic bags floating in the ocean and thicker plastic bags blowing down the street in the wind.

Oil companies opposed the bag ban saying that they would lose profits since many plastic bags are made out of oil. The thick plastic bags are giving even more profits to oil companies and also to the natural gas companies. How do bags get made out of natural gas? I have no idea.

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Re: Washington trying again to ban plastic bags

Post by storewanderer » January 18th, 2020, 11:14 am

A handfull of the super thick plastic bags I've seen are not made in the US. The ones at CVS and some (smaller) Target ones are made in Germany. The ones at Raleys are made in Malaysia. The thin bags at all of those stores previously were made in the US. The ones at a few other places I've been are made in France.

Conversely 99 Cents Only used to use very thin plastic bags that came from China. Now their super thick bags come from a US Factory, Hilex, and their thin bags come from there as well.

I think there are other ways to address this manufactured crisis. Asking the customer "do you want a bag" rather than automatically bagging is one step. Similar to the "straws upon request" rule next could be a "bags upon request" rule (still cannot believe these elected officials are wasting time on these topics when they have homeless problems, infrastructure problems, and healthcare problems nationwide). I think even with the thin bags in place at no cost, many will decline a bag for small transactions. Look at the convenience store business, how often does anyone get a bag at a convenience store for their small purchase? They ask if you want a bag (or don't even ask and just assume you don't). It is rare; I could stand there for 10-20 transactions and not see a bag given out (I am talking in a high volume c-store like a Quik Trip or something at that). Also offering a smaller size plastic bag with handles on it for small purchases (like Rite Aid does and like Wal Mart does in its perimeter registers) for small transactions would cut on plastic waste as well.

Then there is the topic of a compostable plastic bag (which will be illegal in WA under the WA proposal). It will also be illegal under the WA proposal to bring your own plastic bags (thin ones) to a store. The WA proposal is garbage, proposed by an elected official who won her seat by about 1,000 votes and in a town that already has a bag ban. Why is it not enough for her that her area already has a bag ban? Why does she feel the need to tell other communities hundreds of miles away how to carry their groceries home and assess a regressive tax across the entire state? And yes I am calling this a regressive tax because I think it hits lower income people harder than higher income people because lower income people tend to purchase more from grocery stores and cook it at home vs. eating out in sit down restaurants which is more common with the higher income brackets, so they will be impacted more in this and pay more "bag fees."

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Re: Washington trying again to ban plastic bags

Post by BillyGr » January 18th, 2020, 12:09 pm

storewanderer wrote:
January 18th, 2020, 11:14 am
It will also be illegal under the WA proposal to bring your own plastic bags (thin ones) to a store.
Not quite sure how that would be even possible to enforce, since you could have them in a car for other reasons besides bringing them to the store, and just take the items out in the cart to pack them in your trunk.
Alpha8472 wrote:
January 18th, 2020, 4:18 am
I can see some of the logic, but I also know that most people throw these bags in the trash. Virtually no one brings these back to the store to reuse or recycle.
Seems that our bins here are usually fairly filled when you go to put something in them. Not sure if that has anything to do with being a state that has bottle deposit or not (since it might be more likely for people to bring in and recycle a bag of useless bags, such as ones that tore, while they are already headed to return their bottles for the deposit)?

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Re: Washington trying again to ban plastic bags

Post by Super S » January 18th, 2020, 1:05 pm

storewanderer wrote:
January 18th, 2020, 11:14 am


Then there is the topic of a compostable plastic bag (which will be illegal in WA under the WA proposal). It will also be illegal under the WA proposal to bring your own plastic bags (thin ones) to a store.
This goes too far. It is actually environmentally sensible to bring bags you have at home regardless of what they are made from. I don't know if this is how Oregon's recently enacted bag ban works, but this could either send people on border towns out of state, or push even more business online. Perhaps this is why stores are heavily advertising online ordering/pickup/delivery.

This is going to impact bag manufacturers, not only plastic, but paper as well, and there are plenty of plants that make paper bags in both Washington and Oregon. (Not sure if plastic bags are made in either state) Makes you wonder if there is an agenda to drive industry out of state as well.

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Re: Washington trying again to ban plastic bags

Post by storewanderer » January 18th, 2020, 7:34 pm

Super S wrote:
January 18th, 2020, 1:05 pm
storewanderer wrote:
January 18th, 2020, 11:14 am


Then there is the topic of a compostable plastic bag (which will be illegal in WA under the WA proposal). It will also be illegal under the WA proposal to bring your own plastic bags (thin ones) to a store.
This goes too far. It is actually environmentally sensible to bring bags you have at home regardless of what they are made from. I don't know if this is how Oregon's recently enacted bag ban works, but this could either send people on border towns out of state, or push even more business online. Perhaps this is why stores are heavily advertising online ordering/pickup/delivery.

This is going to impact bag manufacturers, not only plastic, but paper as well, and there are plenty of plants that make paper bags in both Washington and Oregon. (Not sure if plastic bags are made in either state) Makes you wonder if there is an agenda to drive industry out of state as well.
No, the WA law that was being floated around last year prohibited you from bringing thin plastic bags from home. It did not prohibit the customer from bringing any other bag type, only thin plastic bags. This was to address the issue of people ordering a box of 500 plastic bags for $9 on Amazon and bringing their own thin bags to the store. Again because people have to be controlled they need to not be allowed to use a thin bag regardless if the store provides it or if they provide it on their own. Because thin plastic bags are something that simply needs to not be available to anyone, for any reason, at any time. But super thick plastic bags that look identical to the old thin ones (as long as you pay the store 8 cents for them) are okay. Logic? Enforcement was to be with the municipality of the store, I am not sure how the citation process would have worked. That part needs to definitely be struck out of the proposal, if it is still there this year.

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