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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Plastic Bag Bans

At some later date I will explain my hyatus the last four plus months, in the mean time here is letter to the editor that was not printed today, Tuesday December 7, 2010. This evening the Long Beach City Council is scheduled to vote to ban plastic bags being given away at grocery stores and other merchants.

Here is a link to the Press-Telegram story where I got the figures they used that I rebut in my letter: Will Long Beach Ban Plastic Bags?

Dear Editor:

I question the veracity of some of the “facts” published in the P-T article on plastic bags. One “fact” was that plastic bags make up “25 percent of the county’s litter stream.” That would mean 25% of most trash trucks, trash cans, and dumpsters would be plastic bags. Simple visual observations tells us this is not true and an inflated number used by ban supporters. One “fact” is that Californians use 19 million plastic bags per year, and also that they generate 147,038 tons of waste per year. For these numbers to equate each plastic bag must weight fifteen and a half pounds. Apparently another set of inflated statistics. Finally, the “fact” that “Californians throw away 600 plastic bags per second” would mean over 2 million per hour, or almost 52 million per day. How can we throw away 52 million per day in California and use only 19 million? Especially if they weigh over fifteen pounds apiece?

Once again elected officials in California take inflated statistics from alleged experts to create an intrusive law (see AB 32). Those of us who act responsibly, re-use and recycle our plastic bags are made to pay for those who feel litter is fine and part of their neighborhoods and throw their plastic bags and other trash in the streets, alleys and sidewalks. Congratulations to the grocers in Signal Hill, Lakewood, Seal Beach and other border cities for the increased business they will do when Long Beach City Council bans the fifteen pound plastic bags.

Dennis C. Smith
Long Beach, CA