The man in front of me at The Purity is asked by the clerk if he’d like to buy a grocery bag.
The clerk says, “It’s only 10 cents.”
The clerk remains silent.
“Okay, I’ll buy the goddamned bag!”
On December 10th, the Fort Bragg Advocate News posted on their Facebook page:
Starting today, Monday, the City of Fort Bragg’s carryout bag ordinance will prohibit supermarkets and large drug stores — Safeway, Harvest Market, Purity, CVS, and both Rite Aid stores — from providing plastic bags at the check stand and will require a minimum 10 cent charge for paper bags. Only “carryout” bags given out at the check stand are affected by the ordinance. Smaller bags for produce, bread, prescriptions and other items aren’t restricted and may still be plastic.
The 60 comments from passionate community members are roughly divided into half who support the ban and half who do not. The folks who support it can be summed up by the following two:
I LOVE LOVE LOVE that the area I live in is proactive about the environment. Our future generations depend on our actions to provide a healthy planet for them. This is one small action that will make a HUGE impact for the children & the earth we reside on.
After seeing a perfect photo opportunity on the Pudding Creek trestle a couple months ago, ruined by 2 of those controversial plastic bags pasted against the cliff by wind and weeds, I did the HAPPY DANCE when I heard they were going to be outlawed. I’m going to put on my big girl grownup pants and bring my own dang bags or pay .10 for forgetting.
There are a variety of theories espoused by those against the ordinance:
The Conspiracy Theory:
this is the LAMEST law ever…. why restrict one type of plastic bag and not another? sounds like a profiteering conspiracy….
Big Brother strikes again!
The Stupid Yuppie Scum Theory:
Stupid scum yuppies from the Bay Area moved up the coast and ruined it ,,, this is just another one of their stunts!!
Rebuttal: I’m “a local and not a bay area yuppie” and I’m 100% for this law. A plastic bag might be gone in anywhere from 10 to 100 years (estimates vary), but scientists report they never fully decompose. Americans only recycle 0.6 percent of the 100 billion plastic bags they take home from stores every year; the rest end up in landfills or as litter. Landfills are few and far between, making the costs of transporting our garbage more expensive all the time. And then there is the carbon pumped into the atmosphere from trucks moving garbage long distances. And as the Advocate stated there is a destructive impact on the environment, particularly wildlife and fisheries.
Rebuttal to rebuttal: I rest my case ,, the people that have a problem with what I said are NOT LOCALS!!!! I don’t like plastic bags either ,, my big problem is all the people making the decisions on the Mendocino Coast Have NO right to say anything!!! If you don’t like what was out nice logging and fishing community then GET OUT!!!
The Pet Waste Management Theory:
How will we take care of cat poop? I’m so stressed!
The First Amendment Right Theory:
I have to repeat this every time in these same tired arguments: get rid of all your foolish bags — plastic, paper, and cloth. Get yourself a BOX! You can get one at the store. You can bring one from home. I’ll give you as many as you want. The box can hold more than the bag. It’s easy to carry. It won’t tip, rip, or drip. Get a BOX!!! And another benefit of the box: you won’t have to go on like an idiot arguing this lame culture war over bags. Yeah, you. I said shut up!
Rebuttal: This is America, and no we don’t have to shut up.
The Germ Theory:
I would be concerned about the increase in germs coming into the store. Do the baggers touch peoples bags from home? Maybe they should start wearing latex gloves that have to be disposed of.
Great idea? Make sure that you wash your reusable cloth bags after each use to protect yourself from contamination, food poisoning, illness and death.
Can you imagine all the germs and bacteria all those cloth bags have in them.
Rebuttal: what about the germs on your mustache? your breath? keyboard, your chair? Did you wipe of that soda can before you drank out of it? Germs???? THEY ARE UNAVOIDABLE! Bring your own bags
The I Can’t Classify These Theories:
Well, that will save the world!
For decades it has been trees vs oceans. Oceans are winning currently. And recycling is a sham. Reusable is the best for the environment, but having to bring your own when you are a volume shopper is absurd. Wal-Mart has it right, stores like Safeway should pay attention!
I think it is only a get-rich scam. If people who wanted to bring their own bags would have done so to begin with, the plastic wouldn’t have been a big problem, it sounds like. I’ve hated it since Wal-Mart enacted it in Ukiah (only to line their pockets even more because who remembers to bring in the millions of bags we’ve been forced to buy floating around in the back of the car now), and I’ve boycotted Lo Bucks in Willits because I am SICK of their paper bags ripping as I’m trying to carry my bags up the driveway.
what’s not to love about half-measures? I mean, we cant starve the Great Pacific Garbage Patch floating out there…it might sink or something….we have to feed it little bags.
And the Theorist who waxes poetic: