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Michigan plastics firm instigated bag protest

Original post made on Mar 27, 2008

Palo Alto's small business owners did not organize a campaign to oppose the city's anticipated plastic carryout bag ban, the Weekly has learned.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, March 27, 2008, 3:38 PM

Comments (23)

Posted by Jody, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 27, 2008 at 5:42 pm

Great reporting and research by The Weekly!

I have found that many restaurants welcome customers that bring along their own re-useable plastic containers and bags when they order take out.

We have never had a problem with this. In fact, most restaurant owners seemed to appreciate this when we began doing this years ago.

It is actually a cost savings to restaurants and stores, since the purchase of disposable products add additional costs to their businesses.

Additionally, the cost of paper bags and plastics is enormous for large chain supermarkets.

I believe that this is a positive for both consumers, business, and our environment.

Thanks for this great story!



Posted by Destroying Consumerism--One Day At A Time, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2008 at 8:24 pm

Why stop at banning plastic bags? Why not ban selling (or owning) anything made of plastic?


Posted by Walter E. Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 27, 2008 at 8:33 pm

So a company is helping organize opposition to a proposal to put them out of business - Who'da thunk it?
Like so many other misdirections of an incompetent administration, they follow this silly zero waste prpogram, assuming that the time and effort of the individual is not worthy of consideration.
If they really want to make a saving, eliminate the water piped to every house, install one hose bibb at every street corner and let everyone carry their needs home in buckets.
While we are at it, make the newspapers collect the papers after we are finished with them, erase the ink and re-use the paper.


Posted by Sustainability Means Going Digital, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2008 at 9:24 pm

> While we are at it, make the newspapers collect the
> papers after we are finished with them, erase the
> ink and re-use the paper.

Suggest that they publish on-line--particularly in small towns like this one. If they don't, then there should be a $1.00 recycling tax (or fee) imposed to help them get motivated to "do the right thing".


Posted by For Walter, a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 27, 2008 at 11:14 pm

Walter,

I would suggest that you read the following article:

Web Link


Posted by Walter E. Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 28, 2008 at 5:11 am

And did you read the subsequent admission that the effects of the garbage were overestimated by an order of magnitude or so? Another false alarm.


Posted by Lois, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 28, 2008 at 5:27 am

WOW! obviously Dart Container Corporation has no clue who they are dealing with here!!! Well done PA Weekly!!! We'll show 'em!!! Dart Container may wished they stayed in Michigan.

However, they may have some friends here amongst Stanford students who objected to low flow shower heads.




Posted by JA3+, a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 28, 2008 at 7:48 am

I suggest it is wise not to underestimate Dart.

Dart Container Corporation is likely still held by the Dart family, long based in Sarasota, Florida.

The Darts are a formidable force, not to be taken lightly, I believe.

In 1993, the Darts tussled with Brazil -- the country, that is -- during a proposed debt restructuring; over time, the Darts bought up -- at prevailing prices -- debt with a face value of $1.4 billion; when Brazil attempted to restructure the debt, the Darts held out for better terms.

Both the NY Times and Wall Street Journal covered the story at the time.

If the Darts do not blink with dealing with the country of Brazil, then I doubt the Darts will blink here. If the Darts are able to purchase debt of a single issuer with a face value of $1.4 billion, then I doubt the Darts will back away quickly here.

Kudos to the Weekly for the story.


Posted by Walter E. Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 28, 2008 at 12:06 pm

Restructure the debt? Isn't that a fancy way of saying renege? And holding out for better terms - horrors.


Posted by recycling enthusiast, a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 28, 2008 at 2:54 pm

Instead of banning, which will just trade one litter for another, why not take the initiative and recycle the bags and foam products? Going to a plastic lined paper cup that is not recyclable just doesn't make sense. Actually putting a program into effect for the city of Palo Alto that takes trash out of the waste stream is what would be the best option for our city. Bans don't work.


Posted by julie, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 28, 2008 at 4:00 pm



Kittens Chase 200-Pound Bear Up Tree Web Link


Posted by joyce, a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 28, 2008 at 11:36 pm

One thing I didn't realize is that the recycling bins for plastic grocery bags can also be used to recycle plastic bread bags, dry cleaning bags, etc.


Posted by NO RECOURSE, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 29, 2008 at 5:32 am

We use plastic grocery bags to line garbage containers. These plastic bags along with the garbage end up in the city dump.
So I am told that this is not enough - I must recycle this plastic bag ????
HOW THE HECK DO I DO THAT !!!!
BAN MCDONALD PLASTIC TOYS - WHY SEND GOOD MONEY TO CHINA FOR THIS ??? THESE TOYS ARE MADE IN CHINA.



Posted by Walter E. Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 29, 2008 at 4:20 pm

The so-called land fill shortage is another of those made panics. Establish Irrational standards, then panic when they cannot be met. If it takes 40 years for a diaper to biodegrade, so what? How long does it take for a stone to biodegrade? The biggest garbage mistake the Bay Area made was turning down the plan to haul garbage on rails to the Black Rock Desert for burial. About a thousand years capacity, then re-use the old areas again.


Posted by No Excuse, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2008 at 12:27 pm

RECOURSE: "We use plastic grocery bags to line garbage containers. These plastic bags along with the garbage end up in the city dump". I used plastic bags, then I switched over to paper sacks - you can too!! The plastic bags I bundle together and leave off at Safeway.




Posted by Haul-It-Away, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2008 at 3:28 pm

> The biggest garbage mistake the Bay Area made was turning down
> the plan to haul garbage on rails to the Black Rock Desert for burial.

When was this plan proposed. This is right on the money. The US is almost all empty space. Using a little of it for urban land fills is an excellent idea .. Compressing the garbage and then hauling it out by rail would solve a lot of problems locally that we don't need.


Posted by Richard, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 31, 2008 at 9:57 pm

Making plastic bags that get thrown in the landfill is a waste of valuable petroleum. Compostable bags can be made from other raw materials that are renewable. This eliminates the long lifetime problem at the landfill and saves petroleum for other uses. As oil gets more expensive we will see more of these products. For now, do a search on "BioBag".


Posted by Euro Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2008 at 6:13 am

Just got back from Spring Break in Europe. The bags from Supermarkets are being touted as biodegradable and should start breaking down within a year. They are also recommended as garbage bin liners rather than using fresh bags bought specially for the job.

If we are trying to get bags out of creeks and other places were litter congregates, then trying to replace them is a good idea. However, the idea of re-using the bags for garbage collection and other uses is something we are not doing.

They have started the same idea of recycling plastic bags at supermarkets as they do here, but they are also cutting down on the amount of packing that comes with many items, from clothes to food to other incidentals.


Posted by Stephanie, a resident of Woodside
on Apr 1, 2008 at 2:52 pm

Go Palo Alto Weekly! The plastics industry is constantly confusing consumers by touting recycling when they are really fighting bans & taxes. Plastic bags don't recyle well because there is vey little plastic in them. Hard, dense plastic (like orange juice containers) recycle best. Bringing your own bag is so easy and it can be fun! Check out www.olivesmart.com because we can all live smart!


Posted by Anne, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2008 at 3:08 pm

Euro Parent: Sorry, but we can do better than Europe. Plastic bags should not be used as garbage bin liners. If you absolutely must line your garbage bin, use brown paper bags; they are more expensive but they are biodegradable.

Start using tea leaves, ground coffee and vegetable waste as fertilizer and bury them in your backyard.


Posted by GOD SAYS RECYCLE !!!!!, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Apr 2, 2008 at 1:59 am

PLEASE WALK TO WORK. IT SAVES THE ENVIROMENT.
(however screws the economy - who cares!!!!!!)

GO LIVE IN CHINA OR INDIA and enjoy life.





Posted by richatd, a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 14, 2008 at 11:35 am

dart sucks


Posted by Jody, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 14, 2008 at 3:30 pm


Many municipalities such as San Francisco, have banned the use of plastic bags.

Palo Alto should follow the lead of countries like the Ireland,
China, Bangladesh, South Africa, Taiwan, Uganda, and most recently, Australia.

Australia
Web Link

China, Uganda, and South Africa

Web Link

Bangladesh banned bags since they were clogging drains and exacerbating their flooding problems.
Shoppers have been using jute or cloth bags.

Last year, San Francisco, became the first U.S. city to outlaw plastic checkout bags at supermarkets.

Web Link

Ireland began taxing stores in 2002 (plastax). This resulted in a 90% reduction of their use.

Taiwan is now prohibiting not only plastic bags, but also disposable plastic plates, cups and cutlery used by fast food places.
They report that there has been a 70% reduction in the use of plastic bags, and a 25% cut in landfill waste.



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