With a ban on single-use plastic bags in Alameda County going into effect on Jan. 1, the question was posed to Contra Costa Patch readers what they thought about it.
The poll is nearly a tie, with 18 people opposed to a ban, and 19 who think a blanket ban should be imposed. Another six people think a ban should be targeted at specific businesses.
We got quite a few replies (67 so far). The opinions, not surprisingly, are varied and passionate. Here are a few (edited):
Chris Nicholson thinks the whole thing is “another feel-good/do-nothing fraud of an idea, not grounded in science or logic and doing at least as much harm as good. Let's ban frowns instead.”
Josia thinks that it makes perfect sense from an environmental point of view: “Californians use 14 billion plastic bags every year. Do you think this basically non-degradeable trash magically disappears? Public agencies in California spend in excess of $303 million annually in litter abatement. Pollution is pollution and shouldn't be tolerated in the name of convenience, "free choice" or anti-government hysteria.
Douglas Bright offers a link to a site called Statisticbrain that outlines some pretty hefty (pun intended) numbers regarding the amount of discarded plastic bags taking up space on the planet. Meanwhile, Joseph Sze links to the American Chemistry Council, which encourages the use and recycling of the bags.
Louise B. thinks it’s another “nanny state rule.” She points out that produce sections will still carry the bags, ban or not.
Jose points out that aside from clogging up storm drains and waterways, they find their way into the ocean where they wind up in the digestive systems of fish and ocean mammals. CJ argues that cigarettes cause far more environmental damage than do plastic bags. He also says that reusable bags can get dirty and contaminate food.
There are many other examples of pros and cons on this discussion. What do you think?