Tag Archives: cost

Why You Should Oppose Bag Bans

English: Ten Mile River (California), looking ...
English: Ten Mile River (California), looking northward from California State Route 1 as it crosses near the mouth of the river. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some people welcome a ban on plastic carryout bags, others are opposed, and others are not sure. This article is intended for those of you who are in between and unsure whether you should oppose or support a bag ban.

With as much that goes on in the world today that vies for our attention, getting excited about plastic grocery bags (i.e. plastic carryout bags) is certainly not high on the totem pole. We live in a topsy–turvy world where things that were once banned are allowed (e.g. marijuana) and things that were once allowed are now banned (e.g. plastic carryout bags).

So how can we approach this subject in a fair and impartial manner? How can we determine if we should support or oppose a bag ban? We know that when the legislature or a local jurisdiction passes a law they are trying to solve a perceived problem. So the answer to the question is to understand the nature of the problem and how the proposed solution or law intends to solve that problem and most important what alternative solutions were considered. The more clearly we understand this the better we can see how our personal freedom and liberties are affected and whether that intrusion is warranted and justified.

The purpose of this paper is not to provide a detailed explanation of the problem and the solution (e.g. plastic bag ban) but a philosophical argument about why or why not bag bans should be opposed.

Click on the following link to read the entire article:  Why You Should Oppose Bag Bans

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Rebuttal of the San Jose Bag Ban Results

English: Montage of San Jose, California pictures.
English: Montage of San Jose, California pictures. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In November of 2012, ten months after implementation of the San Jose Bag Ban, the city issued a report claiming success.  The memorandum contained an analysis of litter surveys and claimed a reduction of on-land plastic bag litter of 59%, 60% in creeks, and 89% in storm drains.  The latter figure is widely used by bag ban proponents as proof the law works.  However, problems with the underlying data as well as the methodology used indicate that these reduction figures are questionable.  Other factors such as a cost analysis was never done by the city nor were other less costly alternatives investigated.

In an article “San Jose Bag Ban Report Rebuttal” the authors respond to the claims of success in a stinging rebuttal.  The authors claim that the wrong parameter was measured, measurement methodology was unscientific and flawed, bag usage observations were not taken at a broad cross-section of stores, no cost/benefit analysis was conducted, and serious negative impacts were never addressed.

The authors present an analysis of plastic bag litter reduction calculations by the city as well as supply their own.  Also presented is a pre ban and post ban cost analysis of carryout bag use showing the cost increase that is incurred by consumers.

Statewide Bag Ban Would Cost Residents More Than $1 Billion!

State Lawmakers and environmentalists who propose a statewide plastic carryout bag bans, like so many officials in communities that have implemented such bans, most often fail to take into consideration the economics of a bag ban and the increased costs to residents.  Not only will residents incur out-of-pocket costs to purchase bags, but depending upon the type of bag chosen, personal time will be required to manage bags and maintain bags in a sanitary condition. Continue reading Statewide Bag Ban Would Cost Residents More Than $1 Billion!

What Will A Plastic Carryout Bag Ban Cost Your Community?

More and more California communities are adopting local ordinances that implement a plastic carryout bag ban.  In the haste to ban plastic carryout bags, officials fail to take into consideration the costs that are passed onto residents.  Not only will residents incur out-of-pocket costs to purchase bags, but depending upon the type of bag chosen, residents are required to spend personal time to manage bags and maintain bags in a sanitary condition.  In the article “Plastic Bag Alternatives Much More Costly to Consumers” the authors analyze the annual cost per household of different bag alternatives and monetize the value of one’s personal time at $12 per hour (half of the California Average Labor Rate).  The article costs out store supplied plastic carryout bags, self-purchased plastic carryout bags, paper bags, durable reusable bags, and cheaper reusable bags.  Continue reading What Will A Plastic Carryout Bag Ban Cost Your Community?

Landfill Impacts of Banning Plastic Carryout Bags

There are many who want to ban plastic carryout bags to help protect the environment, but have never thought through the consequences.  One California state legislator stated “the amount of plastics going into the waste stream is pretty large.”  What this legislator does not know is that the Plastic Carryout Bag Ban that he favored has unintended consequences that will make matters worse.

A ban typically involves banning plastic carryout bags and charging a fee for each paper bag issued.  The fee is intended to motivate the consumer to use reusable bags.  The basic idea is that a reusable bag,  because you use it over and over, has a smaller impact on the environment than a plastic bag. Continue reading Landfill Impacts of Banning Plastic Carryout Bags