Repeal the bag ban

Letter to the Editor


Editor, Index-Tribune:

Much to my surprise while shopping a few days ago, I was required to pay 20 cents for two bags at a local store, not realizing that the plastic bag ban has gone into effect. I do carry a supply of cloth bags when shopping in plastic bag-banned cities, but this latest demonstration of “They’re all doing it” caught me off guard.

Many of the non-progressive people about town, including checkers and cashiers, think the ban on plastic bags is ridiculous. What has happened?

Well, in my opinion it’s a case of contagious envy among city council members and other elected public officials who want to do what is right in their copy-cat opinion.

A number of years ago, I had occasion to visit a county supervisor, and while waiting, I picked up a magazine destined for their eyes only. I found out that there is a national magazine designed and printed for governing councils across America, and generally it tells about new laws passed and recommendations for future guidance. If an ordinance in Ogoquit, Maine prohibits humming in church or chewing gum in supermarkets, other councils can copy these laws and exchange views on the law’s success. It’s called, in common terms, “monkey see, monkey do.”

Now, these so-called progressives believe we are awash in plastic bags, that they are everywhere, clinging to fences, clinging to trees and plasticizing life. A walk around, a drive around, an ecologically sound bike ride around town might prove that this is not true and that Sonoma city and county are rather clean and free of such debris.

I always wonder when I watch non-commercial, violent television, and see archeologists digging and discovering junk artifacts and wetting their pants at these newly found treasures, why they consider them priceless treasures from the past.

If we keep up with this movement to recycle and make everything renewable, organic, sustainable and from use-to-reuse, what will be left for our future descendants to dig and collect a thousand years from now? Personally, I am sick of this recycle movement; it’s a fraud, and the plastic bag ban is the latest event in this governing council copycat movement. If anything, perhaps we should endeavor to have brand new government leaders, and recycle the old ones – to the trash heap for composting. The plastic bag ban should be repealed, now.

Andrew J. Betancourt


  • Celeste Winders

    Please go watch the film Plastic Paradise. It just screened at Sonoma International Film Festival. If people were able to manage their plastic use themselves we wouldn’t have the massive garbage pit in the oceans and landfill. Recycling is not the end-all answer, it has to still “go somewhere” or “be something”. The answer is to stop using it. It’s not a myth or a belief that we are “awash in plastic” WE ARE. It’s called science and data. There is no myth involved in this, it is real and there is plenty of evidence and data that supports this FACT. It’s not even a debatable “thing”. My grandma always brought her bags because it was just part of going to the store and when I was a kid we had plastic bags, she hated them and said “those things are wasteful” and she was right. Who’s going to tell her she is wrong? She survived the depression as a child and the aftermath of it as a young woman. Bringing your own bag is seriously not hard. You can even get these nifty reusable bags that stuff into a little pocket pouch that is sewn on to them and they fit in a purse, backpack, glove box even your pocket. Get over. The ban is in place and it was put in place because there are too many people who believe that the planet being “awash in plastic” is a fairytale made up by “progressives” just to bug them. It’s real. Accept it, quit whining that you have to bring your own bag or pay the 10 cent penalty and help do something about the very real problem of “disposable” single use plastic.

    • Dee Test

      There are other substances besides actual plastic that can be used to manufacture bags. Sonoma Mkt had green “recyclable” bags that were very environmentally safe, sturdy, and served the purposes of carrying groceries and many other important uses. Quit telling others to keep quiet about this insult. You may have been so successfully indoctrinated by the film you saw, so that you can not think for yourself about any alternative approaches to this issue. Others have considered the environmental concerns and have concluded that there are other viable measures which would diminish the use and accumulation of plastic, without inflicting new taxes on people who can afford them the least.

    • duboce

      Sounds like a testimonial from a woman I knew named Lotta Crap. I never met a so called progressive that didn’t give over the top testimony to their personal belief and cause. There might be an overload of plastic bags in Kaoshiung Taiwan but that is their problem not mine. Forget this nonsense that we are all in this together, Amen. Take a look around sonoma, there never was a problem with plastic bags. Open your eyes and get over it. I mentioned that I do have a nice supply of sturdy cloth bags in my car which I do use when getting groceries due to the fact that the paper and plastic that were provided were just too flimsy. As far as whining, I have all my life been surrounded by whiners aka progressives, liberals, do-gooders. Get a life dear, you only go through this life one time and if you spend your time worry about Ethiopians getting enough vitamin A,B, D and D, and whether or not Ebola viruses have personal virus rights for their continued place on earth, you are going to miss a lot. As far as quoting something from the International Film festival, all I can say is stay in the dark.

  • Dee Test

    I totally agree with this sentiment – regarding our county politicos who were so eager to embrace this “politically correct” dictate upon our communities. If they were truly concerned about the proliferation and environmental detriments of plastic bags, they could have created a “buy back” program for recycling the bags (similar to the plastic drink bottles or cans). Instead, this new law was shoved down our throats, without ample opportunity for the voters to consider the merits or alternatives. The new law is really just a new tax on all of us. We pay for plastic bags and we pay for paper bags. The stores get to charge us fees for bags that were gratis before (and they certainly aren’t objecting) so that the county can usurp new tax money. I agree with this letter writer…..our elected officials who facilitated this insult need to be recycled.

    • Village Idiot

      Neither Plastic nor Paper bags were ever “gratis;” it just felt that way to those who don’t understand the basic principles of capitalism and running a business. FYI – The cost of “free” plastic bags, like all the other costs of running the grocery business, was built into the price of groceries. Bring your own bags and it won’t cost you a dime. Of course, businesses being what they are, you won’t notice any drop in the price of your groceries either.
      As to a “new law being shoved down our threats, without ample opportunity for the voters to consider the merits or alternatives,” there were numerous public hearings and explanations of the program, county-wide, over the past several years, including several by Sonoma City Council, and countless articles in the newspapers. Anyone could learn about it, attend meetings, comment, and complain to their elected representatives; it’s the way representative democracy works if you pay attention. It was “shoved down your throat” only if you had your head up the other end.

      • Dee Test

        No kidding we won’t see any drop in the price paid at the grocery stores (related to the incorporated costs of the bags)! Because we will be paying a new tax to obtain those bags in addition to the charges already tacked onto our bills! That’s the point.
        “it’s the way representative democracy works….”. Hence the message from the letter writer….encouraging the removal of these representatives.

  • Gail

    I wouldn’t have as much of a problem with this ban if the money wasn’t going into the pockets of the store. How about using the money for something useful, such as using the money to pay for all those state parks that were closed. We already pay for those bags. For me, I will drive to Napa, use fuel and adding to the pollution before spending my money on a bag that I’ve already paid for. I already drive out of town to go to Target, what’s an extra trip to buy groceries?