On Monday, 4 May, 2015 the Huntington Beach City Council voted 6 to 1 to finalize the repeal of the two year old ban on plastic bags and the mandatory 10-cent fee on paper bags. The repeal is effective on 3 June, 2015 when stores can again issue plastic carryout bags. (Carpio, 2015)
Council-members Mike Posey, Erik Peterson, Billy O’Connell, Barbara Delgleize, Dave Sullivan, and Jim Katapodis voted to finalize repeal the ordinance and Mayor Jill Hardy voted to keep the ban in place. (van Leeuwen, 2015)
According to Council-member Mike Posey, the plastic bag ban was never an environmental issue, but an issue of personal freedom. (Sharon, 2015)
After the Council Meeting, Mike Posey told conservative website Breitbart, “It’s a freedom issue. . . . Litter from plastic bags is caused by misuse and not use, and I object to punishing everyone because some people choose to litter.” (Broder, 2015)
It appears that the City of Huntington Beach has rendered a victory in overcoming the environmental movement. Even “respected government officials who are strong advocates of the ban admit they are unable to detect any environmental changes, up or down, since” the bag ban became law. (Noonan, 2015)
“The city council of Huntington Beach, CA have discovered the importance of personal responsibility and personal freedom verses a government that fascistically micro-manages citizens against their will.” (Butler, 2015)
The City of Huntington Beach took a courageous stand for the truth and personal freedom. Plastic grocery bags are not an environmental disaster they are made out to be. For example, the City of San Jose performed a valuable service to the people of California by being one of the few cities to conduct litter surveys both before and after the city’s bag ban. In the article titled “San Jose Litter Surveys Examined – Plastic Bag Ban Completely Unjustified” the author shows several surprising facts that were uncovered by examining the litter survey raw data. This includes the following:
- That only one out of every two littered plastic bags is a plastic grocery or retail carryout bag!
- That over three years of litter surveys, only 2,913 plastic retail carryout bags were recovered with most coming from litter “hot spots”. That is an average of 1,000 plastic bags per year, or less than the annual consumption of plastic grocery bags by just 2 people out of San Jose’s population of more than 1 million people.
- That those 1,000 plastic bags per year represent only 0.0005% of the 500 million plastic bags used per year in the city of San Jose.
- Two-thirds of the plastic bags recovered during the litter surveys were recovered from “litter hot spots” in local creeks. Unfortunately, the surveys did not identify whether those plastic bags were flushed out of storm drains or came from problematic homeless encampments in or adjacent to local creek beds. (van Leeuwen, San Jose Litter Surveys Examined – Plastic Bag Ban Completely Unjustified, 2015)
In an associated article titled “San Jose’s Bag Ban Useless in Solving Litter Problems – Should be Rescinded” the author shows that the Plastic Bag Ban enacted by the City of San Jose did nothing to solve litter and pollution problems in local creeks. That the 2014 environmental complaint by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and a threatened lawsuit by San Francisco Baykeeper are evidence that the city’s plastic bag ban did nothing to solve serious litter and pollution problems in local creeks and the environment. (van Leeuwen, San Jose’s Bag Ban Useless in Solving Litter Problems – Should be Rescinded, 2015)
The City of Huntington Beach is absolutely right in repealing the ban on plastic bags and fee for paper bags. First, the magnitude of plastic bag litter is so small it does not justify a bag ban. Second, banning plastic bags at most eliminates only 50% of littered plastic bags. Third, Bag Bans impose costly and burdensome regulations on stores and shoppers. Fourth, Bag Bans do not solve litter problems; in fact the impact is negligible.
Council-member Mike Posey and the other council-members who voted to repeal the bag ban are to be commended for standing up to misguided and naive bag banners who seek to impose their will on the American People and take away their hard fought freedom, liberty, and their personal choice about what kind of shopping bag to use in taking their groceries home.
Recommended Reading: Readers are encouraged to read our article titled “The California Plastic Bag Ban Scam” where we show that the California Bag Ban including local bag bans are nothing more than a scam perpetrated upon the people of California by special interest groups in concert with misguided Bag Banners.
The following articles are also recommended:
Broder, K. (2015, May 6). Huntington Beach Is the First City to Repeal Plastic Bag Ban. Retrieved from All-Gov California: http://www.allgov.com/usa/ca/news/controversies/huntington-beach-is-the-first-city-to-repeal-plastic-bag-ban-150506?news=856410
Butler, B. (2015, January 22). Huntington Beach, CA Discovers Plastic Bag Ban is Stupid. Retrieved from Blur Brain: http://blurbrain.com/huntington-beach-ca-discovers-plastic-bag-ban-stupid/
Carpio, A. C. (2015, May 6). Plastic bag ban repealed in Huntington Beach effective June 3. Retrieved from L.A. Now: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-plastic-bag-ban-repealed-in-huntington-beach-20150506-story.html
Noonan, A. L. (2015, April 21). Turning Plastic Bags (Ban) Inside Out. Retrieved from The Front Page online: http://www.thefrontpageonline.com/op-ed/editors-essays/turning-plastic-bags-ban-inside-out
Sharon, K. (2015, May 4). Huntington Beach repeals ban on plastic bags. Retrieved from Orange County Register: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/bags-660591-huntington-beach.html
van Leeuwen, A. (2015, April 22). Huntington Beach takes step towards repeal of plastic bag ban. Retrieved from Fight The Plastic Bag Ban: https://fighttheplasticbagban.com/2015/04/22/huntington-beach-takes-step-towards-repeal-of-plastic-bag-ban/
van Leeuwen, A. (2015, February 23). San Jose Litter Surveys Examined – Plastic Bag Ban Completely Unjustified. Retrieved from Fight the Plastic Bag Ban: https://fighttheplasticbagban.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/san-jose-litter-surveys-examined-plastic-bag-ban-completely-unjustified1.pdf
van Leeuwen, A. (2015, January 19). San Jose’s Bag Ban Useless in Solving Litter Problems – Should be Rescinded. Retrieved from Fight The Plastic Bag Ban: https://fighttheplasticbagban.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/san-jose-discovers-bag-ban-does-not-solve-litter-problems.pdf