• TheVoice

    Let’s not go overboard here. As it is now stores don’t even offer paper bags even if you request them, let’s start there. Alot of people already choose paper over plastic if it is available, but people also need the plastic bags for the gallon milks and heavy juices that are at times irreplaceable. Just give the people the choice.

  • fernando hernandez

    Irreplaceable? Please!

    I find it that cloth bags handle haevy loads quite well, without causing garbage in the land fills and garbage on our streets. Our are 17 years old, and we have never had a misshap.

  • monica

    It’s about time! I always use cloth bags. I have a collection: Trader Joes, IKEA, Target, Wholee Foods, Albertsons, etc…… The city council needs to eliminate plastic bags and then styrofoam can be next.

  • kurtis

    We recycle our plastic grocery bags by using them as garbage bags. A ban on plastic bags would mean we would need to buy plastic bags to use for garbage, which doesn’t seem like an improvement and actually seems like it would make matters worse, as those plastic garbage bags seem thicker than the grocery store ones. So I just don’t get those who want to ban plastic bags for groceries – how do they deal with their garbage?

  • Adelle

    Yes, ban those plastic bags! It would be a small start that everyone could do to help our
    earth. Maybe we can’t do big things like buy a new hybrid car or put solar pannels on our
    house but we all need do what we can to take care of our earth.

    You would have a small investment in cloth bags; there are many sites that sell them and
    most large retail stores sell them. As for using them as garbage bags – maybe we will have to use paper bags or wrap our garbage in newspaper. We haven’t always had plastic bags so I
    guess we’ll have to go back to doing it the old way.

  • J. W. Kyle

    Well, here it is in the early pary of July and we find our leadership bringing up issues for the City Council campaign of 2008.

    It could be a simple thing like this which tips the scale in vote counts. I’ll have to admuit, there have been worse ideas kicked around during elections
    at the local level.

    I’ll miss the plastic bags though…. with those items you could toss wet garagge without worrying about spills; now, the old paper bags expose us to the risk of the ‘bottom falling out, unless you use two. With cloth bags, you almost certainly want to dump the contents; that act exposes you to the risk of trying to save a ‘good’ item which your spouse tossed while you were not looking.

    So now we get to blame ‘politics in Hayward’ for an increase in marital dis-harmony. It will enrich the lawyers who are probably energizing this idea in the first place, all at the risk of electing a new council-member who had campaigned on the “save plastic bag” idea.

    Well, in Hayward…. that’s politics…..

    and…. ‘THAT’S ALL FOLKS ! “.

  • fernando hernandez

    I too use the plastic bags to get rid of my gargbage, but the ordinance applies only to the larger grocery stores and large chains, so I will not miss them, since I make a point of patronizing independent and small stores as much as possible.

    In my experience, large supermarkets tend to double bag even the smallest or lightest of purchases, and the clerks act very surprized if you ask for no bag!
    In some cases I have been forced to take the bags as “proof of purchase”!?

    In my opinion this ordinance would be a good idea: reducing our garbage output while encouraging the population to patronize small, local independant vendors.

  • Pravin Singh

    Wow. . . So the SF politics trickle across the bay. I really don’t like San Francisco politics. They seem to be too over the top and always attempt to ban one thing or another. The people in SF need to understand that its not the plastic bags that are at fault. And banning them is only going to make people find an alternative, (like buying garbage bags and cloth bags). It seems that there is someone or some that are pushing for this to happen so that there can be revenue in their pockets. Were not getting rid of plastic bags. Were getting rid of FREE plastic bags.

  • Kim Santos

    It should be pointed out that if plastic grocery bags are banned, it won’t be the end of plastic bags altogether. You’ll still be able to purchase plastic bags for your garbage, just as you can now. When it comes right down to it, it’s an issue of environment vs. personal convenience. Which would you rather choose? Paper bags may require trees, but plastic bags require much more petroleum and fuel, which is more harmful to the environment. Trees are a renewable resource, at least.

  • TheVoice

    It seems that everybody has an opinion on this issue. To ban plastic bags only for large retailers and not small ones is wrong, if the people that favor this should focus on a complete ban. Take your cloth bags everywhere, clothing stores as well as shoe shopping and book buying. What Hayward should focus on first is styrofoam containers and drinking tap water or purified water and eliminating the waste of bottled water and the expense in City Hall. Wait, what about all the t.v. dinners and kids snack packs while were at it and look at what each one of us is using that can be changed to eliminate waste. Also I hope everybody has fluorescent light bulbs in their homes and are useing organics and biodegradable products too.

  • Judy Fabris

    It would be wonderful to be rid of styrofoam, as it is difficult to break down. But as far as
    plastic bags go, I reuse them for garbage. Quite useful, however, if they should disappear,
    from the marketplace, I won’t be buying plastic bags to replace the free ones. We’ll just
    have to see where this goes. I have a suspicion that there is a hidden agenda on this.

  • monica
  • fernando hernandez

    Here is a chance to hear a discussion on the topic on Public Radio, tomorrow:

    Paper or Plastic?

    Talk of the Nation-Science Friday,
    Friday July 13,
    88.5 FM
    Either from 11-12 am or 12-1pm, I’m not sure,


  • Kary Loredo-Welch

    Fernando…. i’ve misplaced your contact information… please call me at 510/885-1363 i need to discuss something with you please. Thanks, Kary

  • Dmitry

    People who agree with the ban on plastic bag are very concerned about our earth and pollution, but I bet you didn’t know that much more energy to produce one paper bag than it does to produce one plastic bag. So, to make to make more paper back we will actually have polluted more. More CO2 gases will be produces, also paper bags take more space, so the room at the landfill will run out much quicker. Not to mention, that it costs 3 times a much to make paper bag than it does to make a plastic bag. So, the cost of groceries will go up.

    Banning plastic bags, as good as it sounds, is really bad idea.

  • elm. teacher

    I don’t use either. Seventeen years ago, I made some canvas bags to use for groceries, or anything else I buy, they work still. When they get dirty I wash them, and when they get holes I can patch them (that has not happened yet). I don’t need either plastic or paper.

  • Fernando Hernandez

    So, I listened to the program on the radio today,

    There were some very interesting points brought up by experts from Europe, where they have been trying different strategies to reduce waste longer than we have here…

    Apparently bans on plastic grocery bags end up inducing people to buy bags made for garbage, which are three times as thick as the grocery ones,

    They warned about unintended consequences just like Dmitry,

    After the info. I got from the program, I would be more inclined to support an ordinance requireing groceries stores to use biodegradable plastic bags, which would be more expensive, but maybe that would have the following results

    1-encourage people to use cloth bags as much as possible
    2-encourage stores to not offer you a bag if all you bought is a bar of soap
    3-discourage stores to double bag unless the weight of the load actually warrants it.

  • Thanks for all the interesting commentary on this topic. I know that some city council members as well as representatives of the plastics lobby read this blog, so we’ll see what, if anything, comes of it all.

  • Rob

    Here is a poll, Should plastic grocery bags be banned? Here is the link: http://www.apopularitycontest.com/display_poll.php?ID=5705 Anyone can vote on it.

  • Jenny

    I think it starts by making a choice. Canvas bags! No more big decisions. I know change is hard, but come on, it’s not like were trying to conquer would peace. which maybe after we switch to canvas bags we can get started on that. It’s really not that hard and there are tons of advantages that come along with doing the right thing.
    There are alot of choices of eco friendly cool bags to chose from. If your really crafty you can decorate your own. Anyway, just my thought. Have a great day!