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Piece of Mind: Council dodges politics of plastic bags

May 08, 2013|By Carol Cormaci
  • Plastic bags at Ralph's in La Canada Flintridge on Tuesday, April 16, 2013. The city council considered a ban on plastic bags, however, three of the five City Council members showed opposition on Monday, May 6, 2013, to studying an ordinance that would limit or ban single-use plastic bags in the city.
Plastic bags at Ralph's in La Canada Flintridge… (Tim Berger / Staff…)

It had been some time since we'd visited the Target store near Vroman's in Pasadena, so after a casual dinner the other night here at Magpie's, my husband and I ventured across the Arroyo in hunt of some bargains. Some might not call that a date night, but coming home carrying treasures like my new Mossimo ballet flats (only $12!) is the best kind of aphrodisiac known to this woman.

Our arms were quite literally filled because we forgot to take any cloth grocery bags into the store with us, and because it is located in Pasadena, this particular Target does not package purchased items in plastic bags anymore. You probably already knew that, but Gil and I don't get out as often as we'd like to and had somehow forgotten that last year, the forward-thinking city council in the municipality next door to ours had unanimously passed an ordinance banning single-use plastic bags.

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Per the ordinance, merchants can offer up paper bags for 10 cents each. The clerk at the Target we visited advised my date of this option. Gil declined the opportunity to add an extra 50-60 cents to our tab; I agreed, but for ecological, not economical reasons.

So, we piled our purchases up in our arms. It was helpful that there were a few shoe boxes in the haul so that we could stuff some of our smaller items inside those lidded containers. On top of the boxes we stacked everything else and teetered our way to the car. I remember thinking that it was a good thing we didn't buy anything the size and shape of a basketball, or it might have been more challenging to make it to the parking lot without dropping stuff along the way.

I was glad for the reminder to make sure we have reusable cloth bags on us all the time. We knew we were going into a store that we were very likely to walk out of with merchandise, and we should have thought to pull those bags out of the trunk of our car before we entered Target. It's so easy to do and adds only a couple of extra seconds to the time one's already spending out and about, running errands.

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