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Danville council to discuss plastic bag ban

Original post made on Jul 8, 2014

The Danville Town Council will hold a study session Tuesday morning (July 8) to review options on how to establish a plastic bag ban in the town.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, July 7, 2014, 2:24 PM

Comments (71)

Posted by Dave
a resident of San Ramon
on Jul 8, 2014 at 6:06 am

Admittedly, I do not know any of the statistics in regard to land fills and the life of a plastic bag. But I do shudder now a days when I hear about the government telling me what light bulbs I can use, the size of a soda pop they think is appropriate for consumption and now the nice little Town of Danville will charge for bags when I shop there. I may start shopping in San Ramon just to prove a point. It is time for the government to leave us alone on matters like these.

Posted by Libertarian
a resident of Danville
on Jul 8, 2014 at 6:43 am

Dave, I couldn't agree with you more. The government is encroaching on all aspects of life to the point where it's not America anymore... How sad for us all. I think they pass bill after bill just to see if they can get it passed. Pretty soon, we won't even be able to buy a candy bar because it's not good for us. Of course,....they know best!

Posted by Ralph Kramden
a resident of Danville
on Jul 8, 2014 at 7:34 am

Further proof that we Danville residents truly live in a "bubble." Our town council has nothing more important to worry about than banning plastic bags.

Posted by Danville Resident
a resident of Danville
on Jul 8, 2014 at 7:43 am

NO NO NO!!! First they told us we shouldn't use PAPER bags, that Plastic was the answer. Now Plastic is bad. The next step will be NO bags, as in Alameda County.
It's a trend folks.... They know what's best for us, MAKING choices FOR us... I guess our city representatives just don't have enough to do in the upkeep of our city.

Posted by Mom & Teacher
a resident of another community
on Jul 8, 2014 at 7:59 am

It sounds like people are most concerned about their personal inconvenience, which is sad. This is a global problem that can be remedied with local action. It is a water pollution problem that will haunt our children - and their's. Paper bags are not the answer, bringing your own reusable bag is the solution. Single use plastics in general are a huge problem that can be solved easily by us forsaking convenience and taking a moment to use products that can be reused and not end up in our oceans. How hard is that? Is is not a sacrifice you're willing to make for the next generation?

Posted by Mark
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Jul 8, 2014 at 8:08 am

Walnut Creek recently banned single use plastic bags and styrofoam, and I'm glad. As an outdoor enthusiast and boater, I'm disgusted by the growing number of plastics I see everywhere I go. It wasn't so long ago these products didn't exist, and we were fine. Cities, counties, states - and even countries, have taken action - and people adjusted fine, as will those in Danville. I don't see that anybody has a sensible arguement to keep using these plastics, just that they don't want government. If people policed themselves, we wouldn't need it.

Posted by Mmg
a resident of Danville
on Jul 8, 2014 at 8:19 am

I walk every morning in Danville in various neighborhoods. Almost daily I pick up trash: plastic bags, styrofoam cups, fast food debris that people throw from their cars. Plastic bags and styrofoam never decompose. They live forever! We need to stop using them whenever possible. Surely, it is not a huge inconvenience to bring your own bag when you shop. It just requires a very little bit of planning.

Posted by Darlene
a resident of Alamo
on Jul 8, 2014 at 8:19 am

I agree with Mom and Teacher and Mark. Sometimes problems need to be solved with a change and the literally trillions of plastic bags that have been used over the years have created unforeseen landfill, water and even human pollution. This isn't about rights, this is about correcting a problem. Maybe if you read about the issue of plastic bags you would see the benefit of banning them. And if you can imagine using reusable bags, the result would be even better.

Posted by Greg
a resident of Alamo
on Jul 8, 2014 at 8:31 am

Littering is a human being problem, not a bag problem. First of all I totally disagree with the Statement "Single Use Bags" as if no one ever uses these bags multiple times. The reader above was correct, first they ban paper bags in the 70's because the environmentalists said all the trees were going to get cut down, a ridiculous proposition. Then we invented recyclable plastic bags to protect the trees, now some busybody bureaucrat or local politician determines since we can't control INDIVIDUAL BAD BEHAVIOR, WE MUST BAN A VIABLE PRODUCT. NONSENSE. Look who benefits from the ban: Grocery Stores and paper Bag Manufacturers and guess what, they are behind the legislative push for banning plastic. This policy is shameful as more bag sales and more profits will go to the grocers and we the people will be getting plucked for it. UNREAL.

Posted by Westerner
a resident of San Ramon
on Jul 8, 2014 at 8:34 am

In our household, the plastic bags are not single use. We use them to line our trash cans around the house where we dump non-recyclable trash that ends up in the landfills. What this ban will do is make us go the the hardware store to purchase plastic bags to line our trash cans. Therefore, the plastic bag ban will accomplish nothing except cost us more money.

Posted by There's no Planet B
a resident of Blackhawk
on Jul 8, 2014 at 8:57 am

Greg & Westerner, they call them single use because the vast majority are used for around 12 minutes before they go to the landfill. Less than 5% get recycled. You worry that they will cost you money - well, they already do, NOTHING is free, the cost is built in your purchase, and why should others subsidize your plastic use if they don't use them Continue to buy your own plastic bags if you must. Don't worry, you will be able to purchase them everywhere at point of sale.

Posted by Duffy
a resident of Danville
on Jul 8, 2014 at 9:07 am

I'm sure that San Ramon food merchants will be happy to provide me with FREE paper bags to carry my food back to Danville! This stupid ordinance would increase my food costs about 60¢ a week. Wake up Danville City Council - for every action there is a reaction!

Posted by Sammy
a resident of Danville
on Jul 8, 2014 at 9:18 am

I no longer grocery shop in Alameda county because of their bag ban. I guess I'll have to shop outside my home town if the Danville bag ban goes through. Paper bags are inadequate and reusables harbor germs.

Posted by Bob Oxenburgh
a resident of Alamo
on Jul 8, 2014 at 10:05 am

It's curious that nearly all of us manage to shop at Costco which has NEVER provided bags. Let's be leaders, unselfish, and think about our environment. An environment we are only borrowing from our grandchildren.

Posted by Danville Resident
a resident of Danville
on Jul 8, 2014 at 10:13 am

Common folks, Choice!! If we want a plastic bag, let us use one, if we want paper, same.... Yes Costco gives us a CHOICE!!! I don't use their boxes, i don't need them, but it's my choice!!!
Litter and trash, as stated, are a human problem. I've got it, lets dispense with all paper products, so there is no litter to deal with. Did we mention cigarette butts....
Yea, we can try to legislate behavior, after all, we're reshaping our country, aren't we....

Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on Jul 8, 2014 at 10:38 am

Costco sells bulk items that don’t fit in plastic bags. That’s why they don’t use them.

Paper bags kill trees, increase global warming, and use more resources. Paper bags use greater energy in bag manufacturing and greater fuel use in the transport of the finished product.

Reusable bags are generally imported and must be used over 100 times to offset negative environmental impact.

Reusable bags contain unsafe levels of bacteria affecting your family’s health.

Cleaning reusable bags requires a lot of water, a scarce resource in California. Many people use soap and other chemicals to clean reusable bags. That pollutes the water. Chemicals can also rub off on groceries.

People reuse plastic bags to pick up dog poop. A plastic bag ban will increase the amount of poop left on roads, trails, sidewalks, etc.

Plastic bags in landfills harm no one. They don’t decompose.

Want to reduce plastic bag littering? Enforce litter laws. Danville should fine people for littering and use the funds as a source of revenue. People litter because there’s no consequence.

Posted by Karen
a resident of Danville
on Jul 8, 2014 at 10:51 am

Bad, bad, bad idea! Recycle those plastic bags - use for trash bags, dog litter pick up etc. They don't need to end up blowing on the streets of Danville if people are responsible. I don't shop in Alameda County for this very reason. Isn't there anything better for the Town Council to legislate/think about?!

Posted by FanDanville
a resident of Danville
on Jul 8, 2014 at 11:15 am

Plastic bags ARE NOT SINGLE-USE!!!
I use plastic bags many times over. For quick wrapping of refrigerator items, for dog poop, for trash can liners, to help carry items, to protect items from water, in luggage for wet items. They are quick and handy and readily available. They take no weight or space to carry.
Already the reduction in the amount of available plastic bags from stores has caused me to have to GO OUT AND PURCHASE more plastic bags and plastic wrap, which previously I rarely did.
So there is NO SAVINGS here.

Paper bags also have their RE-USES (or are recyclable).

We should have a CHOICE of what we want to use at every store (paper, plastic, self-owned bag), not governmental dictates.

WHO brought this issue up before Danville anyway? I'd like to know the name of the person please!
Council, stop going beyond the bounds of legitimate Danville government. Our choice of bags is none of your business!

Posted by Peter Kluget
a resident of Danville
on Jul 8, 2014 at 11:39 am

Gotta love the sense of entitlement the "special" people of Danville enjoy. It's okay for corporations to govern your life (increasing their profits and taking the attitude that the environment is "someone else's problem") but God forbid the elected representatives of the people should step up and take a stand for the environment of the community and the world over a minor personal convenience.

spcwt, you've fallen for corporate-financed propaganda which has long since been debunked by Consumer Reports. You really need to be a little less gullible.

Posted by Litter has no boundaries
a resident of Diablo
on Jul 8, 2014 at 12:10 pm

Danville is a wealthy community so it's humorous that people are worried about their .60 to pay for bags at check out if they are 'unable" to bring a reusable bag. Paper bags are no better. Yes, resuable bags can have germs - so throw them in the laundry with your dish towels which should be no extra work or water. The Pacific Garage Patch is a growing problem and the bags don't stay in the communities they come from. 112 cities in California have done this, 7 right here in Contra Costa (Pleasant Hill passed theirs last night), so thank you to the Danville Council for having the courage to do the right thing for us all.

Posted by Danville Resident
a resident of Danville
on Jul 8, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Oohhh Oohhh... lets not miss the opportunity to put in that soda tax, and the incoming visitors transportation tax, and eliminate internal combustion vehicles from the city, so it's a "walkable" community... I say no fast food establishments, as they create unbelievable sources of litter... no families over 2 children will be allowed to live in Danville as we don't want to put undue stress on our environment and resources... There's plenty of work to be done City Council...Get Busy...Don't miss any opportunity...

Posted by Xin Han
a resident of Blackhawk
on Jul 8, 2014 at 12:21 pm

YES! Please impose the ban now.

Some posters here are always bitter, clinging to an outdated sense of individualism and self-determination. Move aside and let the people do some work.

Posted by William Bramble
a resident of San Ramon
on Jul 8, 2014 at 12:53 pm

Stop this insanity! Just wait, San Ramon will be next. Why can't they go back to paper bags and allow us to recycle them with our cardboard and newspaper and junk mail? For the life of me I just cannot understand how these folks (our so-called elected officials) come up with this nonsense. Another example is a law that is being pushed in the legislature by none other than Mark DeSaulnier that would track our miles driven and charge us fees on a per mile basis. Yes, this is correct. Check it out for yourself at this link:

Web Link

Here is the basic heading of this proposed law:

SB 1077 – Vehicle Miles Traveled Fee Pilot Program sponsored by Transportation California
SB 1077 requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to develop and implement a pilot program designed to assess specific issues related to implementing a vehicle-miles-traveled fee in California and explore the program as one potential alternative to California’s declining gas tax revenues and steadily diminishing resources for transportation infrastructure.

So, we have all done our part and purchased better fuel efficient vehicles, which in turn has resulted in less gallons of gas being pumped. So, the state gets x amount of cents as a gasoline tax for every gallon of gas that we purchase. Now that we are purchasing less gas, their revenues are shrinking. They are panicking and need to figure out how to get into our pockets a different way. Why do we elect these baffoons? Do not vote for DeSaulnier. He is a union loyalist and cares nothing for the common folk. He will glad hand you and tell you all you want to hear, but in the end, he will back track and change his position to suit his needs. Pay attention to the laws they propose, even if they never become law.

Posted by Greg
a resident of Alamo
on Jul 8, 2014 at 1:50 pm

Just because someone opposes this bag ban, doesn't mean they oppose improving the environment, it simply means they don't believe this ban will have any effect the environment.

Having good intentions SHOULD NOT BE an acceptable reason to reduce our choices and freedoms. Good outcomes should be the barometer, and we already know this policy will not affect the environment one iota.

Posted by San Ramon Resident
a resident of San Ramon
on Jul 8, 2014 at 2:27 pm

There is state legislation coming inevitably so you all need to prepare yourselves. Neither the state nor local ordinances are taking bags away. If you want to buy paper or plastic bags, you will need to purchase them at check out. What's so hard about that? If you don't want to, then bring your own. It's disappointing that SR has not taken action, but many cities and entire countries are banning the flimsy bags to keep them from the ocean (and ultimately OUR food chain). Fact is people don't recycle them, and even if you do, they don't actually recycle! Not sure everyone realizes they are made from petroleum so just the manufacturing is a huge air and water pollution problem - only the oil companies have opposed the state legislation.

Posted by Cindy
a resident of Danville
on Jul 8, 2014 at 2:34 pm

A ban on single use plastic will have an affect on improving our environment. In the 2008 International Coastal Cleanup day, single use plastic bags were the second most common trash collected. A single use bag discarded on the ground in Danville, can be blown or washed into the creeks of our Town which eventually drain into the Bay and then into the ocean where turtles, seabirds and whales ingest them thinking they are food. This can cause their death due to starvation or strangulation. Since the inception of San Jose's ban, there has been a 89% decrease in plastic bags found in their storm drains (which lead to the ocean). Yes, bags are properly thrown away -- Californian's throw away 123,000 tons of plastic bags a year. That is valuable space that we need for the trash that is produced by all of us. Finally, single use plastic bags are made with petroleum and natural gas both of which are a limited resource. Eliminating plastic bags will have a positive impact on the environment

Posted by April
a resident of Danville
on Jul 8, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Just think that our generation having these unnecessary choices is leading to fewer ones for our children and not to mention a degraded environment.

Support the ban!

Posted by Danville resident
a resident of Danville
on Jul 8, 2014 at 3:29 pm

I am in full support of a plastic bag ban. I have been bringing my own bags with me for years and its no trouble at all. It only takes seconds to bring your own bags with you. People don't realize that just because they don't see the plastic bag anymore doesn't mean it just disappears! Lets not add on to the mess that we are leaving for future generations.

Posted by Alan Rosenberg
a resident of Danville
on Jul 8, 2014 at 3:31 pm

7,000,000 billion of us on this planet now. Whether you re-use the plastic bag or not, they are not necessary. 200 years ago nobody used a plastic bag and yes there were less than 1 billion of us consumers then. We all need to step back and look at this from a worldwide perspective. "Think global, act local" is a popular theme that is pertinent in regard to this issue. We are all in this together. With the pressing issues of climate change . . . this is the low hanging fruit. I have been plastic bag free for several years and it is no sacrifice.

Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on Jul 8, 2014 at 4:14 pm

Not all plastic bags come from petroleum.

Plastic bags can be made from vegetable-based bioplastics, biodegradable polythene film, and polylactic acid, all of which decay organically.

Why not at least allow biodegradable plastic bags?

Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Jul 8, 2014 at 4:27 pm

I would say keep them for the butcher departments and raw meat, and s#!+-can them for everything else. Most cars have door pockets. I keep paper, cloth, or heavier reusable plastic bags in the front doors of both our cars. Sometimes I space out and forget them going into TJ's, but I can't blame that on anyone else.
Plastic is literally choking nearly every form of sea life, and our oceans would be in dire straights even without this threat. It's way past time to get rid of them, since garbage companies no longer want to deal with recycling this type of plastic. Ditto for styro-products.

Posted by Clean and Green
a resident of Danville
on Jul 8, 2014 at 8:39 pm

Only 5% of plastic bags in the US is recycled. A large percentage of local creek trash is plastic bags from local fast food restaurants. Plastic bags photodegrade into smaller nodules, so when plastic trash moves to our waterways fish view these small pieces as food. Fish eat them and then we eat the fish - affecting our health! Banning these cheap, single-use plastic bags from local restaurants and all retail stores is a step that will help clean our creeks and streets. It doesn't appear Walnut Creek's economy is suffering from passing a plastic bag ban and I'm sure our economy will not suffer from those going to San Ramon to get cheap plastic bags. In fact, we will probably gain shoppers that will respect us for being good environmental stewards. Thank you Town of Danville Council. Please tell me how soon. I can't wait!!!!

Posted by Louise
a resident of Danville
on Jul 9, 2014 at 7:30 am

Plastic bags are a convenience that has run its course. We need to stop their use and get people to use their own bags. The debate should be do we need to continue relying on petroleum products. Yes, some "plastic" bags are from vegetable sources, but they are rare and few and far between. Let's get with the program and be ahead of the curve and ban them. Stop using plastic bags they are not good for us or the environment. Pretty soon those who don't want to shop in Alameda will not have any place to shop. Maybe they can start a vegetable garden instead.

Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on Jul 10, 2014 at 8:46 am

Not all plastic bags pollute. You liberals need to get the facts.

Vegetable-based plastic bags work great. They biodegrade organically, consumed by bacteria and fungi.

There is no good reason to ban plastic bags made of vegetable-based bioplastics, biodegradable polythene film, polylactic acid, and oxo-biodegradable plastic, all of which decay organically.

A lot of us like the convenience of plastic bags. We don’t want to carry around reusable bags when doing our grocery shopping.

I don’t shop for groceries. My wife does it all. But if a rare occasion ever arises where I have to shop, I will use plastic bags even if Danville bans them. I’ll just pay the extra $0.10 per bag. I guess people could also buy plastic grocery bags in bulk online, keep a stash of them in your car to use when you go grocery shopping. It’s just annoying that liberals are going to put us through this inconvenience.

Liberals think they’re helping the environment but they’re not. They should just take their Birkenstocks, their knitted caps, their goofy ideas and move to Berkeley or wherever. And take a shower while they’re at it

Posted by Mom & Teacher
a resident of another community
on Jul 10, 2014 at 9:14 am

spcwt - your comments are rude and your information outdated, but I can help!

Local and state ordinances do not include bags without handles, so not poop bags, produce bags, dry cleaner bags, newspaper bags, etc.

Yes, reusable bags get dirty. Please wash them (or have your wife do it). Glad you are concerned with water conservation and quality (but not plastic pollution?). It shouldn't use up too much extra water if you wash them with your regular laundry, and as for toxic chemicals, choose not to use them?

By the way, everyone who wants to conserve our natural resources is not a liberal or hippie. Many of us shower daily and have never owned birkenstocks (not that there's anything wrong with them). I just don't want my children (or yours) to have to deal with the mess WE have made for the sake of convenience - WE need to stop using single use plastics - it's not that hard, please try:)

Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on Jul 10, 2014 at 9:26 am

What’s wrong with biodegradable vegetable-based plastic bags? They decompose naturally. No mess for future generations.

Please use logic.

Posted by Peter Kluget
a resident of Danville
on Jul 10, 2014 at 9:53 am

"Please use logic?" As opposed to name-calling, stereotypes, and repeating industry funded propaganda the way you have done in this thread? Seriously, spcwt, elevating your lazy habits over proven environmental damage is hardly "using logic." We got along fine without single use plastic grocery bags for most of your and my lifetimes. After a short bit of getting used to insignificant changes in conduct - like remembering to take your reusable grocery bag with you into the store just like you take your credit card or cash - the problem is solved. Reusable bags don't have to be laundered frequently - most groceries are in boxes and other enclosures. Occasionally throw them into the normal household wash - no extra water use, no extra chemicals. It's easy. Just a minimal change in habits, nothing more.

Single use grocery bags ***in fact*** are a serious pollution problem, both on a local scale and globally. They are not indispensable. Eliminating them doesn't even rise to the level of a serious inconvenience, let alone a sacrifice.

The egocentric self indulgence of the posters who complain about this is par for the course for people who respond like Pavlov's dogs to any regulation which restricts their ability to unthinkingly discard their waste into the public environment where it becomes "other people's problem."

"I, me, mine" - anything else is unacceptable "socialism" to these spoiled folks with their overweening sense of entitlement.

Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on Jul 10, 2014 at 10:06 am


Kluget, you’re the lazy one, not me. Why are biodegradable vegetable-based plastic bags “a serious pollution problem”?

Just answer the question. Or don’t. It just shows you don't know what you're talking about.

Posted by Julia
a resident of Alamo
on Jul 10, 2014 at 11:36 am




Thank for for listing, Julia Pardini from Alamo

Posted by Danville Resident
a resident of Danville
on Jul 10, 2014 at 4:15 pm

I've never posted a comment before, but this time I can't stay silent. I'm against the plastic bag ban, and reuse my plastic bags many, many time for various uses. I know that the Danville Town Council will do whatever they want no matter how many people oppose their ideas. I've lived in Danville over 28 years and have seen this EVERY time there is an opposition to their ideas.

However, what will be interesting to see, is how many people will be sitting at the Council table or in the audience, drinking from those PLASTIC water bottles!! Now what?

Posted by Danville Resident
a resident of Danville
on Jul 10, 2014 at 6:25 pm

It's alarming that people in our community don't seem willing to adapt to this small change to protect our wildlife and watersheds - and ultimately our food chain.

SPCWT - you seek answers: why note google them yourself, they're out there!

Web Link

In summary, dealing with our growing waste problem is less about plastic versus bioplastic and more about getting back to the basics - reusable.

Stop yawning and get out of your chair. It's 2014 and it's time for a bag ban.

Posted by History evokes evolution
a resident of Danville
on Jul 11, 2014 at 5:00 am

Earthen jars, leather, cotton, paper, plastic, and now reusable bags. Same history with bottled water, household products, soft drinks, food additives, cosmetics, and yard chemicals. Home phones became cell phones. As we evolve in our knowledge so do our current products and new ways that we will live.

There are so many positive small things that each of us can do to leave a tiny footprint. Choose one and let the readers know what you did. I would like to read about those small acts. Give your family that challenge. Tiny changes all add up and one person can make a difference. Once you take the time to find one thing you can do to make a difference, it will create an awareness about other small things you can do.

I personally am trying to be a part of my community.

Adaptation is not always easy. I am still trying to remember my bags when shopping or to recycle at home.

Posted by Awareness evokes evolution
a resident of Danville
on Jul 11, 2014 at 5:10 am

I am changing my name header from the previous post. Awareness creates a future and a historical reference.

Posted by Guy Yeah
a resident of Alamo
on Jul 11, 2014 at 7:32 am

For those of us who were around during the early household recycling debates, these howls of indignation have a very familiar ring....

In general, one person on a desert island can do what she pleases -- all the consequences are hers. Two people may start to affect each other and need to cooperate to maximize their mutual benefit -- and by the time you get to 7 Billion, there are many, many things that require cooperation. This is one of them.

Folks who object are stuck in the Manifest Destiny mentality of the 1800s. The frontier is closed, and there's nowhere else to go (no Planet B, above).

Further, existence is not linear (throwaways) -- it's circular. We need to think not only cradle-to-grave (recycling), but cradle-to-cradle (re-use) -- what's the next equivalent use for our materials, and how do we get them there?

For the industry apologists -- it's too little, too late and too linear. If these veggie bags were an actual competitive product, they'd be out there in quantity now, rather than appearing mostly in hearing room rear-guard actions. Fossil-fuel-based bags are way, way cheaper (but but economies of scale! -- right). Disposability is just not worth it anymore. The Graduate ("one word Ben: plastics") was made in the 1960s, after all.

Bacteria in the re-useables -- horrors! 1 -- your food is not pristine when you buy it (that's how the bugs got there), and 2 -- when my re-useable clothes have bacteria on them, I do not throw them away -- I wash them. Throw your bag in the wash (spcwt also doesn't do much laundry, I'm guessing).

And for you freedom fighters and your "they came for my plastics bags and I did nothing" blather -- save it for things worth fighting-for. The sacred right to damage the planet is not one of them.

Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on Jul 11, 2014 at 7:40 am

A plastic bag made out of corn stalk ain’t going to hurt nobody.

The weblink above supports that point. Of course, it won’t break down very much in a landfill because it’s entombed in waste, preventing exposure to air, moisture and sunlight. That’s why newspapers found in landfills are still readable 35 years later.
But so what? Plastic bags represent less than 1% of landfill mass.

They’ll get gobbled up by bacteria & fungi if littered. They won’t clog streams or become part of the Pacific garbage patch.

And they’re convenient, reusable, and better for the environment than paper bags. The only reason they’re not is use is because they’re slightly more expensive than petroleum-based bags. So ban those. Problem solved.

You hippies like using washable cotton & nylon bags? Good for you. No one’s stopping you. Have fun.

But please keep your nonsense to yourself and quit bothering us normal people with your half-baked ideas.

Posted by Guy Yeah
a resident of Alamo
on Jul 11, 2014 at 8:13 am

@poor spcwt: either we 'hippies' don't wash enough, or we wash too much -- you've 'argued' both ways in this one thread! And bacteria in the bags are invariably bad and a major health concern, or they're good for breaking down your silly corn bags.

Corn bags are like flying cars -- they may be possible, but they are cost-prohibitive -- and look out below!

Landfilled newspapers are readable 35 years hence? While I have no doubt that mining landfills will someday be a viable business, it's also a very good argument for recycling now -- think of it as cutting out the middleman.

You know how we look back (well, most of us) with dismay on the destruction of the vast buffalo herds by yahoos on trains with rifles, who left the carcasses to rot in the sun? What a waste. Your many grandchildren will consider you to be: a yahoo.

Posted by American
a resident of Danville
on Jul 11, 2014 at 8:52 am

I, like most people, reuse the plastic grocery store bags, as liners for my trash can, and to pick up after my dog when I walk him...If grocery stores no longer are allowed to use plastic bags on groceries, I will have to buy plastic bags from Hefty or other companies that sell them, but I will still be using plastic bag for my trash cans and to pick up after my dog...The only difference is that I will have to spend money and buy Hefty or other brand plastic bags instead of getting them for free with my groceries...What difference does it make if the plastic bags ending up at the dump are free ones I got at the grocery store, or ones I bought from Hefty or some other company? Still pollutes the environment, whether free or purchased bags.

Hence, I am against this ban, as it will not help the environment, as we will still have to use plastic bags for our garbage cans and to pick up after the dog on walks, and only winner will be Hefty or other companies that sell plastic bags.

Posted by mloliver
a resident of San Ramon
on Jul 11, 2014 at 9:31 am

In our household, plastic bags get reused several times in wastebaskets that do not contain recyclables. and finally used for cat litter. Plastic bags with holes, or those that aren't soiled are saved, tied up in another plastic bag, and put in the recycle bin per instructions from Waste Management. Costco and other places carry biodegradable plastic bags for disposal of food waste and anything that can go in the green bin. There is no need for a ban on plastic bags in stores, and eventually I'm sure those will be replaced with some sort of biodegradable bags as well as long as there is a market for plastic bags. There are times when paper bags are simply inadequate for the job at hand.

With regard to litter, that is going to happen as long as there are irresponsible people who are too lazy to control their trash. That starts with training in the home and school.


Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on Jul 11, 2014 at 9:31 am

I don’t care if you shower or not. But if you get too close, don’t be offended if people spray Febreze on you to avoid the smell.

You can buy biodegradable shopping bags in bulk right now for $0.02 cents each. Web Link Corn stalk bags could be just as price competitive under the right circumstances. And if not, then they won’t be used. No need to ban them. Problem solved.

You know how we look back at Luddites and laugh about how they tried to ban trains and other technology? That’s what grandchildren will think of people like you.

Posted by Peter Kluget
a resident of Danville
on Jul 11, 2014 at 10:12 am

So, spcwt, are you leading the charge to outlaw petroleum based bags, so as to ensure that all "free" grocery bags are biodegradable? Or is that too "socialistic" for you? (You appear to have studied at the Heartland Institute, which honed its craft working for big Tobacco in the 1960's and has now moved on to global warming denial. If one argument is exposed as baloney, throw out another! and another! The key is to spread cynicism, doubt and confusion so as to ensure inaction to the profit of the clients.)

The message that the "I, me, mine" folks seem to want to ignore is inherent in "there is no Plant B"s screen name. The era of constant expansion into "new" territories, with the earth seemingly able to absorb all of our effluent, residential and industrial, without any effort on our part, is over. Nothing is "thrown away" anymore - it's just left for future generations to deal with. It's not "free" - it's just charged onto our kid's account.

Posted by Guy Yeah
a resident of Alamo
on Jul 11, 2014 at 10:34 am

1 -- I have many dogs, and many more plastic bags than I need to clean up all their poop. I take my extras to the dog park regularly to restock their volunteer dispensers. Their supplied dispensers already use expensive biodegradables for that specialized use.

2 -- Nobody's primary trash and garbage cans are small enough that those disposable bags are useful as liners. On the off-chance that one is, re-use the disposable.

3 -- that said, you are, indeed, exceptional. Nationally, although 92% of the population has access to recycling for these bags, less than 5% of the bags are, in fact, recycled. 95% are not. Where are the rest? The answer, my friend: Web Link

4 -- as a reward for your stewardship, please send me your hefty annual Hefty bill (with receipts, of course. I will recycle them). I'll pay it.

Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on Jul 11, 2014 at 10:38 am

@ @

I drew this eye roll just for you Kluget. I hope you like it.

Posted by Guy Yeah
a resident of Alamo
on Jul 11, 2014 at 11:09 am

According to this major retailer's catalog: Web Link a carton of biodegradables costs between 6 and 12 cents each. Not two cents. Three times that much. And they take 5 years, wet, to degrade. And are not for sale in CA because they don't really work very well in our dry climate.

Nice try.

And BTW, when disposable plastic bags become your symbol of high technology, ya Yahoo, you have lost the argument. Luddite??! Hoo boy, that's a good-un -- even better than an emoticon at proving that you're out of ideas.

Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on Jul 11, 2014 at 11:47 am

Buy ‘em here for $0.02 cents. Web Link

Here’s my attempt at drawing a can of Frebreze being sprayed in your direction.



Posted by Guy Yeah
a resident of Alamo
on Jul 11, 2014 at 12:22 pm

How clever.

Guess what this one is: ..!.,

Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on Jul 11, 2014 at 12:54 pm

Uh...part of your anatomy?

Hard to tell based on its small size.

Posted by Guy Yeah
a resident of Alamo
on Jul 11, 2014 at 1:46 pm

That's by far your best response of many in this thread, but your eyesight needs work.

Posted by The Original Dave
a resident of Danville
on Jul 11, 2014 at 3:23 pm

It's kind of sad when scpwt resorts to belittling those who disagree with him, by making up unflattering descriptions of them -- descriptions that everyone knows are pretty unlikely in Danville.

Maybe it shows a lack of confidence in the merits of his arguments. Or maybe he truly believes that all progressives dress as some kind of 1960s hippy caricature, rather than the well-dressed, highly educated and successful professionals that most of us here in Danville are.

Can we hope that some day he will join us in the 21st Century?

Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on Jul 11, 2014 at 3:45 pm


Posted by Guy Yeah
a resident of Alamo
on Jul 11, 2014 at 3:47 pm

TODave: it'd be sad if spcwt actually believed-in the semi-solids he flings about in here. But in extraordinary and rare moments of candor, he admits that he's just having a good time, trolling the board.

I worry less about his mental health than about a few of the others up the thread, who write similarly preposterous nonsense -- and appear to believe it.

Posted by A Real American
a resident of Blackhawk
on Jul 11, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Dear American (of the screenname above, not generalizing)

It's attitudes like yours that have put us ALL in this predicament - and are preventing us from working together to do something about it.

Yes, go ahead and buy, buy your plastic bags because you can not say bye-bye to this convenience for the sake of future generations. Don't worry - that's not selfish or short-sighted - you have every right to think only of yourself.

You call yourself American, but you don't care about America or even Danville.

It's time to clean up our act and take care of our natural resources or nothing else will matter - as Robert Redford said "I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?"

Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Jul 11, 2014 at 4:29 pm

I am shocked at what I read in this hard to believe these are people I might pass on the street or sit next to in a restaurant - in my town or yours.

Some of you should be ashamed of yourselves (you spcwt and Julia too) and some of you can be proud for respectfully standing up for what you believe in (whatever your bag is).

We, as a society, have an obligation to act on our knowledge, and we know that plastics are harming our planet - they are making our ocean sick (and us too), and we can not ignore this and go on with business as usual because it's easier.

Our elected officials have a responsibility to take action to solve problems.

If you're not a part of the solution, then you're part of the problem.

Posted by Conservator
a resident of Danville
on Jul 11, 2014 at 8:30 pm


Even if you're trolling, look over your most recent contributions and ask yourself if this is really conduct-becoming for a bar-certified attorney. Spewing the anti-anything not capitalistic rant is typical for you but the sophomoric graphics are a new low for someone of your profession. You are so much more respectable when you just stick to not wanting to pay your taxes.

Posted by Cynthia Ruzzi
a resident of Danville
on Jul 12, 2014 at 10:00 am

The ordinance addresses plastic bans in our community that are provided from all retail stores and restaurants. It does not prohibit plastic bags used for protection on raw meat or produce products - hence, those that choose can protect their reusable bags from 'germs' instead of throwing them into a wash with dishtowels - which has simply protected my family for over 20 years.

The current bags provided from retailers and restaurants in Danville are not biodegradable and I certainly don't see this as a viable solution in the near future. I have tested the break-down of Sunchips biodegradable bags (one of the few companies using such products) and I still have pieces in the compost bin from five years ago. Even if they broke down to pieces I couldn't see, I wouldn't trust that chemicals from the remains wouldn't infect my vegetable soil - and when in our waterways, the fish we eat.

I've lived in Danville for over 17 years because it is a special community that prides itself on its aesthetics and family atmosphere. Unfortunately, our streets and creeks do suffer from this waste - as proven by volunteers who clean up our creeks regularly. We have all seen such plastic bags floating in the air, stuck in trees and unfortunately, filled with poop on the side of the road (supposedly to be reclaimed by the pet owner on the way back). Besides saving volunteers time cleaning them up, I want to protect the beautiful local cranes, ducks, deer, foxes and other wildlife that we cherish when we walk in the morning or bring our children and grandchildren to see.

Posted by Bag Lady
a resident of Danville
on Jul 13, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Bag Lady is a registered user.

I just ran across this topic today.

I cannot believe that Danville has come to this. Who is sitting on the Town Council seats that is considering passing such an absurd ordinance?!!!

In terms of the issues facing this community (not the world) this belongs at No. 998 on the top 1000 listing.

Comparing supermarket groceries to COSTCO merchandise is not an 'apples to apples' comparison, therefore that is rejected as not being germane.

As far as paper bags concerns for the tree huggers, do you really think it is significant? Big conglomerates like Weyerhaeuser have been cutting timber for generations ... right behind them they have been replanting & growing more timber for the same number of generations.

Some people tend to think that once a tree is cut down it is gone forever! They "TREE FARMERS".... The farmer that plants corn .... well, I'll be darn ... she comes along the next season and re-plants corn again.

I thought living in Danville was a big departure from the Peoples Republic of Walnut Creek ... is Danville's Town Council modeling itself now after Walnut Creek, Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco among others?

Are you listening? Look at all the comments here. Wait until the rest of the community hears about this ... I consider myself fairly well-informed & I just heard about this 10 minutes ago ... Brace yourself for a barrage of input & large participation at the ballot box.

Somebody said: "If you're not part of the solution ... you're part of the problem" .... This is one of my favorite sayings .... Not applicable here.

What about: "...If it ain't broke.... don't fix it..."

Leave it alone ... We love Danville the way it is ...

By the way ... What is the total amount of fines Danville has garnered over the past 5 years for littering?

NO on Banning Plastic Bags.... get out of our lives.

Posted by Joe Lee Rancher
a resident of another community
on Jul 14, 2014 at 6:59 am

Interesting post, BL -- it demonstrates a general phenomenon applicable to many others emanating from the retrograde end of the spectrum: it is long on emotion, especially disbelief (ED1)and derision (ED2) of anyone who disagrees, and long on contentions (C), many of them irrelevent (C-IR), and very, very short on any actual evidence, or even logical argument, to back-up those contentions (E?).

Let's have a look:

I cannot believe that Danville has come to this. (ED1) Who is sitting on the Town Council seats that is considering passing such an absurd ordinance?!!! (ED2)

In terms of the issues facing this community (not the world) this belongs at No. 998 on the top 1000 listing. (C) (E?)

Comparing supermarket groceries to COSTCO merchandise is not an 'apples to apples' comparison (C) (E?), therefore that is rejected as not being germane. (C) (E?)

As far as paper bags concerns for the tree huggers (ED2), do you really think it is significant? (C) Big conglomerates like Weyerhaeuser have been cutting timber for generations ... right behind them they have been replanting & growing more timber for the same number of generations. (C-IR) (E?)

Some people tend to think that once a tree is cut down it is gone forever! (ED2)(C-IRR)(E?) They "TREE FARMERS".... The farmer that plants corn .... well, I'll be darn (ED2) ... she comes along the next season and re-plants corn again. (C-IR)

I thought living in Danville was a big departure from the Peoples Republic of Walnut Creek (ED2)... is Danville's Town Council modeling itself now after Walnut Creek, Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco among others? (ED2)

Are you listening (ED2)? Look at all the comments here. Wait until the rest of the community hears about this ... I consider myself fairly well-informed (C) & I just heard about this 10 minutes ago ... Brace yourself for a barrage of input & large participation at the ballot box. (C) (E?)

Somebody said: "If you're not part of the solution ... you're part of the problem" .... This is one of my favorite sayings .... Not applicable here. (C) (E?)

What about: "...If it ain't broke.... don't fix it..." (C) (E?)

Leave it alone ... We love Danville the way it is ...

By the way ... What is the total amount of fines Danville has garnered over the past 5 years for littering? (C) (E?)

NO on Banning Plastic Bags (C).... get out of our lives.(ED1,2)

Lots of anger, very little support for it. We ranchers call that phenomenon: "All Hat, No Cattle."

Posted by Scott
a resident of Danville
on Jul 15, 2014 at 7:21 am

This is not about paying for a bag. This is about the government telling us how to live. As a resident of Danville I chose this community since it was a town that was known as being more conservative. If I wanted the government in my life everyday I would of lived in alameda county.

If the town of Danville passes this I will take my business next door to san ramon where I still get the plastic bags that I REUSE for my trash cans and cleaning up after my dogs.

Posted by BYOB LADY
a resident of Danville
on Jul 15, 2014 at 7:51 am

Bag Lady (and friends),

This is not government intrusion, this is government intervention.

WE, the people, apparently NEED our elected officials to tell us to stop using a millions single use plastics bags a minute - WE cant stop ourselves! THEY tried telling us to recycle them a few years ago, but hardly anyone did.

Paper bags are not a viable solution. Trees are not annuals (like corn and much of the food that we grow for consumption) and do not mature in one year.

You don't seem well informed at all...stuck in the Danville bubble circa 19??

Curious what you think #999 should be if saving our oceans (where we ultimately get our recycled water and air) from pollution is #998?

It IS broke, and WE need to fix it, and YOU are part of the problem!!!

Now get a reusable bag and get over your self(ishness) for the sake of the next generations who will be stuck holding the bag (or drinking it)!

Posted by Stop the Bag Ban
a resident of another community
on Jul 23, 2014 at 11:23 am

The bag ban is nothing more than the vocal few controlling the majority based on emotional arguments that lack logic or evidence. They will scream "look, I saw a plastic grocery bag in the creek, therefore we must ban EVERYONE from getting them!" They then grow frustrated and angry at anyone who disagrees with their (illogical) logic.

It does not take long to investigate the false claims of the bag ban pushers. You can go to our website at "stop the bag ban" for more info.

But the bottom line is this: The people of Danville (both those pushing for a bag ban and those against) should DEMAND a public vote on this issue. Do you know that NO city in California has submitted these plastic bag ban/paper bag fee to their citizens for a vote? Why not submit it for a vote of the people? Let the people decide if they want the government to limit the freedoms of the stores and the people in the name of "saving the environment"! Why not?

Why don't the bag ban pushers EVER ask for a public vote? Why is it always "our city is behind the others, and we need to pass it!" What they mean is that the "city council" needs to impose this on the citizens against their will, not that the real city (the people) need to pass it. If people are concerned that their city is behind, then why not get signatures and get it on the ballot instead??? Don't wait for your city council, but put your idea on the ballot? What, none of the bag ban pushers want to try? Gee, why not?

BECAUSE THE PEOPLE OPPOSE BAG BANS. Just look at the comments in this thread.

But, sadly for the people of Danville, the city council likely won't listen or care, or even think through what they are passing. They will follow other city councils like lemmings over the cliff of stupidity. (In Los Gatos, for example, 2/3 of the people showing up for the "city information sessions" , writing in, and calling were AGAINST the bag ban, but the city council passed it anyway...) I've watched city council after city council follow this terrible example of illogical behavior control. Your only hope then is to elect other city council representatives who will reverse it.

Don't stop fighting. As others point out, it is plastic bags today, then on to water bottles (yes, they want to ban bottled water), etc. etc. They believe we should all live under "green guilt" and if you don't believe it, they will force it on you anyway.

Posted by by the people for the people
a resident of another community
on Jul 24, 2014 at 8:02 pm

Ten reasons Danville should not jump unto this trend or "ban wagon"
1. Needless waste of council time and funds
If the state is going to pass a ban anyway why would the city use up its precious time and city funds for this reason not not many other needs.
2. If the state does pass a ban, the heavy handed all retailer/restaurant ban in Danville would cause a permanent discrepancy between it and other cities that did not pass its own all retailer/restaurant ban(i.e San Ramon) and follow the state version(Which would prohibit any tighter municipal ban from being passed if state passes) which only targets chain or large grocery selling stores meeting the state's definition. Danville retailers would be put at disadvantage compared to their counter parts in Alamo and San Ramon and other cities like Concord. look up number three for what the ban hurts the most.
3. The all retailer ban is very hard on smaller mom and pop businesses and mobile vendors(i.e farmers markets, conventions, street fairs).(The state exempts most of them from the ban for this reason) They have limited budget and room in their store to pack paper or thicker bags and the record keeping requirements that require them to keep a record for each bag sold within three years would be overwhelming without spending on computer equipment linked to a cash register.(Many temporary vendors don't even have cash registers) Some stores had closed down in cities like San Francisco and San Jose after the ban. Others reported having to spend a whopping $30,000 to bring their shop to compliance.
5. Most thin bags are distributed by stores already covered by the states version of the ban why bother to include stores that distribute only a very small percentage more of bags. Why force the corner gift shop or arts and craft shop comply with such expensive requirements as they often only give out an average of one bag per customer and they are often not even plastic at all. They are hardly the problem so why go out of the way to punish them.
6. Bag bans in San Francisco and San Jose not only did not reduce litter it actually did the opposite effect. In official trash audits by the department of public works in San Francisco The City of San Francisco Streets Litter Re-Audit 2009 while grocery/retail bag litter might had dropped a few tenths of a percent(it was 0.6% of total litter to begin with) other plastic litter including but not limited to non store related bags went up to over 3%.
7. Bag bans actually increased the amount of unsightly litter on the streets. Grocery and retail bags only account a miniscure 0.6% in nearly all waste audits i.e from San Francisco, Toronto, Cal waste, EPA, etc however they are among the most reused item from the store. One of the many but most important reuse of grocery bags is to contain garbage from spilling, garbage which includes many other plastic wrappings, containers, etc that are non reusable and most be disposed right away. In San Jose since the ban poorly secured garbage spill out on the streets from garbage cans and trucks as more and more garbage is bagged with cheap bin liners that are hard to tie, big glade bags that are hard to tie as well, protective bags, or just thrown raw into garbage cans.
8. If any one of you travelled to San Jose which had the all retailer ban for two years. Than traveled to a city without a ban. Would you wonder why many San Jose streets, sidewalks, creeks, open land, etc are often litter everywhere sometimes knee-deep in garbage while surrounding cities(i.e Santa Clara, Milpitas) without bans appear litter free even though they are almost just as dense and have many immigrants? Is this what we call success?
9. Shop lifting is a major issue in cities with all retailer bans. i.e Seattle. Web Link While large stores might afford extra insurance and maybe install extra security measures(for instance Lucky in San Jose has installed metal barriers to channel customers through check stands) of course at the increased cost to customers smaller stores might not be able to afford to protect their store from losses as people walk out with unbagged items or items in reusable bags where there are not much of a proof of purchase to look for. Confronting them might result in costly lawsuits for the store owner. With police being cut back and
10. Bans are actually very bad for the environment. These so called environmental groups never did any true studies only use emotional claims they repeat over and over to get different governments to follow their way. The UK environmental agency has did a extensive study on the life cycle of shopping bags and found all alternatives are far worse for the environment. Ventura County EIR states a great amount of water use would result from a bag ban both washing reusable bags and manufacturing paper bags would use hundreds of gallons more per capita in a year. something really to consider in this drought year.

Don't get me started on hygiene issues and food borne illness.

I always thought Danville and most surrounding cities is smart to think about it all these years rather than blindly jump onboard unlike the cities in other parts of the Bay Area. I was once proud of Danville's stance to favor the facts and their population rather than blindly believing those "enviro nazies" who just want feel good measures to control the population rather than listening to its residents as well as science. Its sad that they would fall into this trap today and try to beat the state just so it can get a medal that showing that it done something. I am very disgusted once it was the because the state is not going to ban but now we are banning because the state is going to do it but we want our city has banned the bag medal for show.

Posted by Ms. bunny
a resident of San Ramon
on Jul 25, 2014 at 8:00 am

Well I guess some can look as this as a "governmental" issue when in fact, "we the people" are merely trying to govern if not REDUCE our footprint that is already proving disastrous when it comes to our landfills. Carrying recycle bags is and remains, the ONLY way to go in light of the fact plastic in many forms CANNOT be broken down.

If you care about the environment...
If you care about conservation...
If you care about the generations to come?

You'll simply acknowledge the problem and do YOUR PART in solving it. If not? Then it's clear: you really don't care.

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