Punitive ordinance also includes paper bags

Regarding the bag issue: Do you vote “yes” because you agree with half of a piece of legislation? Or do you vote “no” because half makes no sense at all? Please check the facts before you vote. The proposed ordinance regarding paying for the use of grocery-store bags includes paper and plastic bags. The vast majority of articles and letters that support the bag tax/fee conveniently leave out this fact. Even the Herald’s Sunday Oct. 13 front-page story is misleadingly entitled “The pros and cons of plastic bags.” This story explains that when requested to ban plastic bags, city councilors compromised and chose to charge for the bags instead. But this compromise goes beyond the dreaded plastic bag and includes paper bags as well.

Had councilors focused solely on plastic bags, there would probably be no opposition to this issue. Consumers would still have had the option of using paper bags that are totally biodegradable. So if the issue is truly about reducing our collective plastic imprint, let’s focus on plastic and leave the consumer with a viable paper-bag option at the store. This doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing issue unless it is really designed to manipulate behavior. The bag ordinance should be bagged – not because we are anti-environment but because it is bad legislation! “Plastic or paper” should never have become “plastic and paper.” Shouldn’t there be an either/or option available? Let’s send a message to our elected representatives that we expect them to design problem-solving policies, based on facts that address real issues rather than making policies, based on emotions, that attempt to manipulate personal behaviors.

Barb Bell


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