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Questions for bag ban opponents

May 01, 2013

In anticipation of the next City Council hearing on a proposal to ban plastic bags with handles (to be held on Monday, May 6 at 7 p.m.) I have a few questions for Trent Sanders and Bill Osburn who wrote to the Valley Sun in opposition to the ban.

Sanders worries about the “nanny staters” who would impose the ban even against those who do not “litter” (although by throwing his bags in the trash, as he implies he does, he is, in effect, “littering” as those bags are not biodegradable, whether in a landfill or thrown in the street or into a sewer drain). Does he have any idea how many people are cited for littering by our sheriff’sQuestions for those opposing department? How much money is collected in our community in littering fines? Is he proposing more funding for the sheriffs to patrol our streets to keep an eye out for those pesky litterers? And is fining those who litter not considered using “the coercive power of government to tell us how to lead our lives”? I fail to see the distinction.

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In response to Osburn’s concern about the dirt and germs purportedly spread by reusable bags, I’d like to inquire how he shops for groceries. Does he use a cart to collect his groceries and transport them to his car? If so, is he aware that other shoppers have likely placed their reusable bags in the very same cart? Not to mention women’s purses, which may also be placed on the checkout counter. And has he never observed those germy children sitting or even standing in a grocery cart (and sometimes eating, drooling, sneezing etc. therein.) I suspect that Osburn’s “one trip” bags are not nearly as clean as he thinks they are by the time he gets home and places them on his kitchen counter. And I am skeptical there is any evidence that reusable bags contribute in any way to “future illness” as Osburn contends. If there is, I would welcome him citing it.

The City Council should reach the common-sense solution that has already been implemented by all of our (more forward-thinking and conscientious) neighboring communities.

Mary Freeman
La Cañada Flintridge

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