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Old 05-09-2012, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Just outside of Portland
4,576 posts, read 5,816,594 times
Reputation: 4611

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Here in the "green when it's trendy", liberal, socialist republic of Portland Oregon, it is a city/county wide mandate that absolutely no plastic bags are used in grocery stores like Safeway, Albertsons, etc. There was even a sketch on Portlandia about it. The smaller markets and shops can still use them though. This has been in effect for about a year now.

My observations:
The mayor and his ilk pushed the bag ban through using quite of bit of unsubstantiated BS.
(Google it for yourself if you are interested)

There was a huge amount of public debate over the bag ban, but in the end we did not get to vote, we were simply told that's the way it was.
This my main complaint, the citizens of Portland had absolutely no choice in the matter.
If it had been put up for a public vote, it never would have happened.

You either use reusable bags, or get cheap thin paper ones (with no handles) for free.
In our climate, it rains a lot. If fifteen raindrops land on your paper bag it "melts" and everything falls out the bottom.
They rip easily and are a pain to use to transport groceries more than 10 feet.
The reusable bags slowed the checkout lines a bit because people are either trying to be helpful and bag their own stuff and get very particular about what goes in each bag, or just throw the bags on the belt and the cashier has to seperate them, open them, and stuff them.
It just goes slower IMHO.
Also, the reusable bags get filthy from meat blood, oozing schmutz, and food particles.
Few people wash them, and if they do, they fall apart quickly.
Today there was a news story about a family getting sick from norovirus(?) that had contaminated their resuable bags.
http://www.kgw.com/news/local/Beaver...150820495.html

Unless you make a concious effort to empty them, clean them, fold them, and put them back in your car, a quick stop at the grocery store after work will have you using cheap thin paper bags.

I am lucky enough to live on the county line/city limits, and if I want plastic bags I can drive the same distance in the other direction to get them.

Personally, I don't think Portland's bag ban has really made much of a difference, except maybe in a "feel good" way.
About the same as driving a Prius.

Limiting plastic grocery bags to biodegradable plastic bags would have made a lot more sense and would have been applauded by Portlanders.

Last edited by pdxMIKEpdx; 05-09-2012 at 02:33 PM..
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Old 05-10-2012, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Just outside of Portland
4,576 posts, read 5,816,594 times
Reputation: 4611
Oh, I forgot to add that most reusable bags are made of the same stuff one-use bags are made of, except heavier material and they are woven and coated.

Most, if not all, are made in China and are shipped to the US.

I read somewhere that even though they can be used more times than one-use bags, their carbon footprint is much larger than the footprint of one-use bags which are made in the US.
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:52 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,067,380 times
Reputation: 3117
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxMIKEpdx View Post
Here in the "green when it's trendy", liberal, socialist republic of Portland Oregon, it is a city/county wide mandate that absolutely no plastic bags are used in grocery stores like Safeway, Albertsons, etc. There was even a sketch on Portlandia about it. The smaller markets and shops can still use them though. This has been in effect for about a year now.

My observations:
The mayor and his ilk pushed the bag ban through using quite of bit of unsubstantiated BS.
(Google it for yourself if you are interested)

There was a huge amount of public debate over the bag ban, but in the end we did not get to vote, we were simply told that's the way it was.
This my main complaint, the citizens of Portland had absolutely no choice in the matter.
If it had been put up for a public vote, it never would have happened.

You either use reusable bags, or get cheap thin paper ones (with no handles) for free.
In our climate, it rains a lot. If fifteen raindrops land on your paper bag it "melts" and everything falls out the bottom.
They rip easily and are a pain to use to transport groceries more than 10 feet.
The reusable bags slowed the checkout lines a bit because people are either trying to be helpful and bag their own stuff and get very particular about what goes in each bag, or just throw the bags on the belt and the cashier has to seperate them, open them, and stuff them.
It just goes slower IMHO.
Also, the reusable bags get filthy from meat blood, oozing schmutz, and food particles.
Few people wash them, and if they do, they fall apart quickly.
Today there was a news story about a family getting sick from norovirus(?) that had contaminated their resuable bags.
Reusable bags linked to norovirus outbreak | kgw.com Portland

Unless you make a concious effort to empty them, clean them, fold them, and put them back in your car, a quick stop at the grocery store after work will have you using cheap thin paper bags.

I am lucky enough to live on the county line/city limits, and if I want plastic bags I can drive the same distance in the other direction to get them.

Personally, I don't think Portland's bag ban has really made much of a difference, except maybe in a "feel good" way.
About the same as driving a Prius.

Limiting plastic grocery bags to biodegradable plastic bags would have made a lot more sense and would have been applauded by Portlanders.
I would love a bag ban here. You should see our streams. Plastic bags everywhere.
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:53 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,067,380 times
Reputation: 3117
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxMIKEpdx View Post
Oh, I forgot to add that most reusable bags are made of the same stuff one-use bags are made of, except heavier material and they are woven and coated.

Most, if not all, are made in China and are shipped to the US.

I read somewhere that even though they can be used more times than one-use bags, their carbon footprint is much larger than the footprint of one-use bags which are made in the US.
Where do you think the one-use bags are made?

Also, the reusable lunch tote I use was made from 150 single-use plastic bags by my wife ... 4 years ago. Holding up well.
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:40 PM
 
13,072 posts, read 11,392,107 times
Reputation: 2608
Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
I would love a bag ban here. You should see our streams. Plastic bags everywhere.

A more logical approach would be to implement a very aggressive litter policy and laws that would hold people accountable for such practice rather than point to everyone accusing them of littering with such draconian laws.
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:45 PM
 
13,072 posts, read 11,392,107 times
Reputation: 2608
Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
Where do you think the one-use bags are made?

Also, the reusable lunch tote I use was made from 150 single-use plastic bags by my wife ... 4 years ago. Holding up well.
Depends. In LA where they implemented such a ban, a major manufacture and recycling company of those bags was greatly effected by it.

The bag issue as the poster was pointing out is a "feeling" issue, not a logical solution. It won't solve the litter issues (people will still litter), and it won't have any significant effect on the environment (C02, etc...). This is the problem when you let emotional approaches to decisions, you get wasted money, wasted effort, and more problems.

Just look at the problems some places are having with the low flush toilets backing up their sewer systems and the wind farms that created many more problems than they anticipated. Nothing wrong with activating cleaner and more efficient policies, but this isn't the way.
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:22 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,545 posts, read 18,376,290 times
Reputation: 3688
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhipperSnapper 88 View Post
I used to be one of those people who bought into the whole idea that simple changes such as using a paper sack at the grocery store or even buying a reusable bag could make even a small difference........ let me be the first to tell you, it's a complete fraud! Recently, I started a new Job at a trash bag factory { glamorous I know but with this economy we can't afford to be picky. } It wasn't until I started there that I realized just how much plastic is actually used, every hour of every day. I run two lines for 8 hours a day where I am required to take the freshly minted bags or rolls off the belt, record the weight of the case, and pack them into boxes for shipping. In that 8 hours, just one line uses anywhere from 3000 to 5000 pounds of plastic. Mind you there are a total of 9 lines in the shop I work for that run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Imagine if you calculated the poundage for an entire YEAR!!!!

This experience has really opened my eyes to the whole "paper or plastic" thing and let me tell you, it's really not going to make a bit of difference WHAT type of bag you use in the grocery store.



Example of one line that runs continuously
i don't understand how seeing the volumes of plastic makes you think choosing to use a reusable bag is useless. If anything, that would make me more vigilant about it.
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:23 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,545 posts, read 18,376,290 times
Reputation: 3688
Quote:
Originally Posted by usafracer View Post
Paper may be a renewable resource but the fuel used to cut, mill, and grind the trees is not. Its time that people wake up and realize that reusable bags are the only way to go.
i read somewhere in the past few years that choosing plastic and recylcing it is actually better than choosing paper. but you're right - reusable!
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Old 05-11-2012, 02:34 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,545 posts, read 18,376,290 times
Reputation: 3688
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxMIKEpdx View Post
Here in the "green when it's trendy", liberal, socialist republic of Portland Oregon, it is a city/county wide mandate that absolutely no plastic bags are used in grocery stores like Safeway, Albertsons, etc. There was even a sketch on Portlandia about it. The smaller markets and shops can still use them though. This has been in effect for about a year now.

My observations:
The mayor and his ilk pushed the bag ban through using quite of bit of unsubstantiated BS.
(Google it for yourself if you are interested)

There was a huge amount of public debate over the bag ban, but in the end we did not get to vote, we were simply told that's the way it was.
This my main complaint, the citizens of Portland had absolutely no choice in the matter.
If it had been put up for a public vote, it never would have happened.

You either use reusable bags, or get cheap thin paper ones (with no handles) for free.
In our climate, it rains a lot. If fifteen raindrops land on your paper bag it "melts" and everything falls out the bottom.
They rip easily and are a pain to use to transport groceries more than 10 feet.
The reusable bags slowed the checkout lines a bit because people are either trying to be helpful and bag their own stuff and get very particular about what goes in each bag, or just throw the bags on the belt and the cashier has to seperate them, open them, and stuff them.
It just goes slower IMHO.
Also, the reusable bags get filthy from meat blood, oozing schmutz, and food particles.
Few people wash them, and if they do, they fall apart quickly.
Today there was a news story about a family getting sick from norovirus(?) that had contaminated their resuable bags.
Reusable bags linked to norovirus outbreak | kgw.com Portland

Unless you make a concious effort to empty them, clean them, fold them, and put them back in your car, a quick stop at the grocery store after work will have you using cheap thin paper bags.

I am lucky enough to live on the county line/city limits, and if I want plastic bags I can drive the same distance in the other direction to get them.

Personally, I don't think Portland's bag ban has really made much of a difference, except maybe in a "feel good" way.
About the same as driving a Prius.

Limiting plastic grocery bags to biodegradable plastic bags would have made a lot more sense and would have been applauded by Portlanders.
i have the chico bags for about 4 years now. They are compact (made of parachute material), strong (small one carries 25 lbs), and easy to wash out occasionally. I've never gotten sick, though I rarely wash them.
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Just outside of Portland
4,576 posts, read 5,816,594 times
Reputation: 4611
Quote:
I would love a bag ban here.
Be careful in what you wish for.
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