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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 2, 2012 12:43 PM. The previous post in this blog was The new Blazer draftees. The next post in this blog is Gatsby slithers away from residency question. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, July 2, 2012

Still preaching

Even with a ban on plastic bags at grocery store checkouts, the holier-than-thou set at Portland City Hall can't stop yakking about how bad the bags are. We're always glad when we patronize a merchant who gives us one or two. We reuse them, at least once and sometimes twice. We religiously recycled the extra ones we used to get, along with the bread and newspaper bags, anyway.

The reusable bags that they're pushing on everybody nowadays have to be washed regularly, or else they become breeding grounds for harmful bacteria. It's a pain, and of course, it takes water, soap, and energy. Is that "green"? Hey, be quiet and do as you're told.

Comments (18)

I've read this 3 times and still don't understand it:

Some ideas for getting along without plastic bags:

Dealing with pet waste: There will still be many plastic bags in circulation. You can continue to use bread bags, produce, bulk or cereal bags.

Lining a garbage can: Line your garbage can with newspaper and rinse it out periodically. Or buy some lightweight plastic bags and reuse them, dumping the contents into your outdoor garbage can before relining your can with them. Reuse the bag from your cat or dog food.

I used to work for a paper products association in Washington DC. The banning of plastic bags was a big issue for us. From an environmental perspective, it is pretty clear that plastic bags do not take any more energy to produce than paper bags. The real issue is that plastic bags aren't biodegradable. Unlawfully discarded plastic bags don't just "disappear" into the ground like paper bags.

The issue is less about the environment and more about the blight of plastic bags floating in streams and hanging in trees. I'm not justifying the ban, I'm just saying it's more about "these plastic bags look ugly" than it is about "we're saving the environment".

You could wash your bags all the time to be "safe" from mysterious diseases... Or just don't eat out your food-filled reusable grocery bag after it sat on the floor in the bathroom where someone is busy getting sick with an infectious norovirus...

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/05/the-case-of-the-contaminated-reusable-grocery-bag/

Hey, what'd you expect once they hire all these marketing/policy types - They need some kind of work product and that is these hectoring releases that tell us how stupid we are for not deferring to them?

I understand the part about not liking plastic bags, but getting all schoolmarm-ish about it is annoying.

I mean I'd love to remind them about the waste that higher water fees are in return for doing absolutely nothing to change our water, but what are the odds they listen to me?

Amusingly, these same folks pushed "plastic" bags as a "green" alternative to paper bags - initially. The "plastic" bags aren't after all petroleum-based; they're produced from a by-product of natural gas drilling that was formerly simply flared off (burned). So a waste product was turned into something durable, reuseable, and recyclable. And now, they're evil.

I do most of my shopping in Clackamas or Washington counties. . . . Good going, Multnomah Co.!

"I do most of my shopping in Clackamas or Washington counties. . . . Good going, Multnomah Co.!"

Me too.
Also Vancouver - Great Walmart & no sales tax to Oregornians.

Thanks
JK

Hey, stop using plastic bags, and kill trees to carry your groceries home!

Jack,

Quite a bit of research has already been done on the life cycle analysis of paper and plastic bags.

http://use-less-stuff.com/Paper-and-Plastic-Grocery-Bag-LCA-Summary-3-28-08.pdf

http://techalive.mtu.edu/meec/module14/title.htm

No, you cannot use paperbags either. The marbled muralette (sp?)will not tolerate logging in state forests near the coast. NO LOGGING and no plastic bags, no packaging, no federal funds from federal forests which cannot be logged. Just stare at it and enjoy the beauty.

I reuse these bags religiously. If there is a hole in one, I double it up.

I haven't bought trashcan liners in years, this is probably Glad Inc.'s doing.

A month ago I stopped by my neighborhood "Cash & Carry" wholesale grocery store and bought a box of 1000 Trellis Earth Products green and degradable plastic bags. (In the biz their called T-shirt bags...'though their style is more like Grocery-beater shirt bags....)

Anyways, the ones I'd left in the backyard have already crumbled and are falling apart. So my dog and I can walk and poop around our neighborhood with our heads held high.

And yes, they really do cost a nickle each.

I like plastic so I bought a couple of rolls from a wholesaler and still use them.
Easy to carry to the store and dispose of.

Max: "Amusingly, these same folks pushed "plastic" bags as a "green" alternative to paper bags - initially."

Yes, I remember that too, the big push to plastic bags was BECAUSE we couldn't cut down any more tress, God forbid...

Gee, the Environmentalists were wrong so now nothing is good. I'm pretty sure that the current, "reusable" bags are made out of a synthetic fiber that is probably partially petroleum based and that can't be good either. And they're made by Chinese sweatshop workers who make five cents an hour, and then transported on the dirtiest tramp boat to reach...oh...some Mexican port where they're unloaded by laborers making 10 cents an hour, to be trucked on 1970s era trucks up to the U.S. border, then transloaded onto 1990s era trucks to their distribution center...and then another truck to the store. All to be motored home in single occupant vehicles from the big box store.

Of course, growing your own fruits and veggies would be great...except...that's bad because it's a lower use of the land, when we could build condo bunkers. And the condo towers create too much shadow effect on the adjoining property, and that also requires water which is bad too. So it has to be grown on a farm - but not too far away, but not within walking distance. About 20-200 miles away is OK. But that's too far to bicycle, and MAX doesn't go there, so those farms are bad too.

You can just never win............maybe the next step for the environmentalists is a mass suicide pact. With nobody left to deal with the remaining human carcasses we would all decompose and recycle as fertilizer for all the plants and other organic life that would be wasted, regrow, waste, regrow, waste... Maybe we'd be overrun by domestic cats who will then control the world.

Or as Nora Efron remarked to Gail Collins about global warming, "Not a middle aged issue".
I personally am too old to care.

erik H. That was perfect rant. Thank you. Well said.

If it is west of 181 I do my best to avoid it

Washing reusable bags is about as 'eco-friendly' as having to rinse glass and recyclables with PWB water that costs only slightly less than liquid gold.

For that reason, I've actually cut back on my recycling. F.U., City Hall!

Paper bags suck for grocery use. Reusable bags get contaminated. Plastic is ideal - it has handles, it is durable, and it is disposable.

I'm glad I live near Clackamas county so I can shop there. When I accidentally go to a grocery store in Portland, I'm always annoyed at the stupid paper bags that rip when I try to pick them up.


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