Grocery bags should be a private matter between a woman and her grocer

by Dan Chriestenson

Where are all the pro-choice liberals when we need them? Can’t just ONE of them stand up and say, “I’m personally opposed to the use of plastic bags, but I support the right of people to choose plastic bags. It should be a private matter between a woman and her grocer.”?

Seriously, if The People were truly clamoring for a ban on plastic bags, wouldn’t they simply stop using them rather than waiting for their enlightened elected elites to force all of us to put our groceries in bacteria-lined fabric bags?

Editor’s Note: The proposed bill introduced in the Oregon Legislature is sponsored by two Republicans and two Democrats. It outlaws “single-use plastic checkout bags” and requires that customers either pay 5 cents for a paper bag or bring their own reusable bag. The passage of the bill could trigger similar laws in others states.

Dan is the business development manager for the Weston Auto Dealerships, and is a member of the Gresham-Barlow School Board.

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Posted by at 11:31 | Posted in OR 76th Legislative Session | 74 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Bob Clark

    This is good. What about health of the consumers? Reuseable bags can pick up some nasty bad germs if not washed, and if you wash them, you end up puting more phosphates in the water (and the hands don’t like harsh detergent either). Paper bags give out more easily especially in the rain, posing another health hazard as people rescue their food from falling on the ground (more energy to make too than plastic). These health concerns are very material, and it really should be the personal choice between grocer and shopper.

    A good court case name might be Cleaver (Beaver’s Mom) versus Fred Meyer, Haas and Atkinson. It would be a fun case to watch. Let’s get it on.

  • oregonnative

    I thought there were more important things to do in Salem, than worry about plastic bags (made from oil) than paper bags (made from wood). Since the greenee’s shut down the woods, those paper bags are going to be taxed a lot more every year.

  • Bono

    Paper bags are hard to use when it rains all the time in Oregon, maybe they should make a “hybrid” paper-plastic, 50% each. Then everyone would be happy. Then offer hybrid tax credits.

  • Bono

    Paper bags are hard to use when it rains all the time in Oregon, maybe they should make a “hybrid” paper-plastic, 50% each. Then everyone would be happy. Then offer hybrid tax credits.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    Moments and attributions in past and future history:

    “Let them Eat Cake” – Marie Antoinette in the midst of the French Revolution

    “Nero fiddled while Rome burned” – Nero’s response to Roman fire, 64AD

    “Let us debate grocery bags” – Pre collapse topic of discussion two years before congressional state bankruptcy act was passed in 2013 (with subsequent nationalization of all state debt, secession of more fiscally sound states, and premier of Atlas Shrugged Part 3 marking Hollywood’s as the initial industry to establish gold coin rather than dollars as the standard currency we now know today, aside from bullets and Jack Daniels)

    • Although they are commonly attributed to Queen Marie Antoinette,[1] there is no record of these words ever having been uttered by her. They appear in Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Confessions, his putative autobiographical work (completed in 1769, when Marie Antoinette was 13, and only published in 1782). – Wikipedia

    • Although they are commonly attributed to Queen Marie Antoinette,[1] there is no record of these words ever having been uttered by her. They appear in Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Confessions, his putative autobiographical work (completed in 1769, when Marie Antoinette was 13, and only published in 1782). – Wikipedia

  • David Appell

    Aren’t conservatives all about sacrifice? — young Marines sacrificing their lives for their country, and all that? And not one of you can give up a little plastic bag for the sake of a better world?

    What exactly are these marines dying for? Are you so-called conservatives so bitter and so backward that you cannot carry a little clothe sack to the store so that plastic does not continue to pollute and degrade our environment? So that the oil can be used elsewhere, where it might be needed (plastic bags consume 2% of US oil use).

    Is there anything you won’t whine and bitch about?

    • David we who serve do so and sacrifice protect your liberty and choice not for self right twits like you to take the choice of others away. I you do not like to use plastic go right a head but you have no right to stop others.
      You are a sick mo fo to equate sacrifice for freedom to your pitiful taunts.
      I still will be using plastic bags even If have to oder them from Uline, don’t like it tough and to the devil with you.
      PS. you might want to research oil production, we do not use oil just to make plastic, but plastics are a byproduct of the distillation production that produces fuel and may other products.

      • David Appell

        Acton, you protect the liberties we intellectuals tell you are worth protecting. Let’s not act like the military is the sole defender of values and rights — frankly, you would go far overboard except for the restrain of civilized men. It is the intellectuals who define the parameters of civilization and it is the intellectuals who direct the soldiers where to go and whom to fight — and when to stop.

        Don’t think you are the only valuable partner in this civilization….

        • David Appell an intellectual – that pretty funny. He is just another ignorant progressive that is too stupid to foresee the results of his proposals.

          On the other hand, maybe David is an intellectual since arrogant, ignorant intellectuals brought us Lysenkoism, Eugenics, Marxism, AGW and the plastic bag. Now these fools wan their creation, the plastic bag banned.

          Thanks
          JK

          • Steve Plunk

            That’s our David alright. He sees himself as an intellectual who has a God given right to tell others how they should behave. I would laugh if it wasn’t so pathetic.

          • David Appell

            Intellectuals aren’t perfect — are you? But smart people have brought you 400 yrs of science, which has improved your life more than any other factor you can claim.

            The military defends the country. Intellectuals make it worth defending.

        • Rupert in Springfield

          >Acton, you protect the liberties we intellectuals tell you are worth protecting.

          Oh good God, now you are thinking of yourself as an intellectual?

          You rent in an apartment and write some cheesy weather articles. Tolstoy you are not.

      • David Appell

        Acton wrote:
        > I still will be using plastic bags even If have to oder them from
        > Uline, don’t like it tough and to the devil with you.

        Frankly, I doubt that. You’ll conform like the rest of us. You’re nothing special and you will obey society’s strictures just like everyone else.

        • Try me

          • David Appell

            > Try me

            Go ahead, make your big, tough stand over a little grocery bag. What courage!

            Watch us laugh.

          • tell what you going to do if I just put everything in my cart no bag, walk outside to my truck, and re bag ever thing to plastic grocery or trash bag I keep on hand.
            Arrest me troll Put the cuffs on me troll take me to the judge and I will sing the blues.

          • David Appell

            > tell what you going to do if I just put everything
            > in my cart no bag, walk outside to my truck, and re bag
            > ever thing to plastic grocery or trash bag I keep on hand.

            I will then laugh at you for being a silly fool who does not understand what is important or really worth fighting for. In short, for being a childish fool.

          • Angela

            I would almost argue that you don’t understand what is important if you are arguing with a group of people that are pro-plastic bag. Perhaps all these people want to do is live in a world with plastic bags glutting up the ocean? Perhaps your energy would be better spent in plastic bag awareness campaigns. Or cleaning up the ocean shore.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            You regularly rant about wanting everyone else to subsidize your rent and pay for your health insurance. You fake a PhD so you can pursue your dream of being a writer while denigrating anyone with a regular 9-5 job but insisting they should be taxed to pay for your dream. You fancy yourself a member of the media, and demand free tickets claiming to be a professional. Yet you don’t even have the maturity to remember to attend nor the professional courtesy to call and cancel when you cannot.

            I’m not sure the “your childish” taunt will work so well in this case.

            However it would be nicely ironic.

          • Alaska Lady 123

            I would like to donate to help pay for David Appell’s rent. I had more money than I really needed anyways. Stupid Obama lowered my taxes, so now it’ll just sit there and go to waste.

            What do you say folks? Let’s set aside our differences in an environmentally friendly cloth bag and chip in to pay this man’s rent so that he can continue to share his wisdom with us all!

          • Alaska Lady 123

            I would like to donate to help pay for David Appell’s rent. I had more money than I really needed anyways. Stupid Obama lowered my taxes, so now it’ll just sit there and go to waste.

            What do you say folks? Let’s set aside our differences in an environmentally friendly cloth bag and chip in to pay this man’s rent so that he can continue to share his wisdom with us all!

          • Alaska Lady 123

            I would like to donate to help pay for David Appell’s rent. I had more money than I really needed anyways. Stupid Obama lowered my taxes, so now it’ll just sit there and go to waste.

            What do you say folks? Let’s set aside our differences in an environmentally friendly cloth bag and chip in to pay this man’s rent so that he can continue to share his wisdom with us all!

          • Alaska Lady 123

            I would like to donate to help pay for David Appell’s rent. I had more money than I really needed anyways. Stupid Obama lowered my taxes, so now it’ll just sit there and go to waste.

            What do you say folks? Let’s set aside our differences in an environmentally friendly cloth bag and chip in to pay this man’s rent so that he can continue to share his wisdom with us all!

          • David Appell

            Rupert ([email protected]): you and OregonCatalyst.com might want to be very careful here. Claims that I faked a PhD are untrue and are professionally injurious to me. That is, libelous.

            You, and OregonCatalyst.com, will need to retract them.

          • noibn

            Indeed, one picture is worth a thousand blurbs…and there’s no mistaking this guy for David Apple, former KATU weatherman.
            http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/david-appell

          • David Appell

            > tell what you going to do if I just put everything
            > in my cart no bag, walk outside to my truck, and re bag
            > ever thing to plastic grocery or trash bag I keep on hand.

            I will then laugh at you for being a silly fool who does not understand what is important or really worth fighting for. In short, for being a childish fool.

          • Daryl

            I think I speak for us all when I think we should propose legislation to increase our taxes to subsidize anti-plastic bag enforcement. Perhaps a division of the police department can search out rednecks in their pick up trucks emptying their carts into Uline trash bags.

          • valley person

            I think you are missing the point Action. Of course you can bring your own plastic bags in if you prefer these over other bags. They aren’t outlawing plastic after all. You and anyone else are free to buy and use whatever bags you wish.

            Word to the wise though. You will find it cheaper and more convenient to buy a few reusable bags like you see around. Have Live Free or Die printed on the side and make your statement.

          • Steve Buckstein

            You will find it cheaper and more convenient to buy a few reusable bags like you see around. Have Live Free or Die printed on the side and make your statement.

            Finally, here’s the germ of a positive solution to the problem anti-plastic bag people see. Don’t ban them at the checkout counter; suggest that those of us who prefer them might prefer making a political statement on a reusable bag even more.

            Give us a reason to voluntarily give up our beloved plastic bags. Resorting to force (in this case, forcing grocers to stop providing them) is beneath the dignity of the self-defined intellectuals on this blog.

          • valley person

            The reason Steve, is conservation. Plastic bags are wasteful and many end up littering the place, some ending up harming wildlife. And they are clearly not necessary, as many of us have adopted other methods for collecting our groceries. But you and other Catalyst readers already knew all that, and you still want to use the formerly “free” plastic bags anyway.

            Its certainly not beneath my dignity to support a ban on a harmful, unnecessary product, anymore than it is beneath my dignity to support limits to any pollution. It should be beneath your dignity to spend so much energy arguing that this loss of “free” plastic bags is somehow important to your freedom.

            If you love plastic, then buy a case of bags and use them. Plastic bags are not being banned. Free (but not really) plastic grocery bags are being banned.

            Another way to consider it is that your “free” bags cost me extra money on my grocery bill, because the store has to factor those bags into the cost they cahrge all of us, whether we use them or not. You have been free riding.

          • Steve Buckstein

            “…your “free” bags cost me extra money on my grocery bill, because the store has to factor those bags into the cost they charge all of us, whether we use them or not. You have been free riding.

            One clarification. The plastic bags are “free” just like the paper bags are currently “free.” Nothing in current law prohibits grocers from charging for either type of bag. So it’s incorrect to say that “my free bags” are costing you or anyone. It’s the grocer’s decision to imbed bag costs in the prices of other products.

            The bill in question both bans distribution of plastic bags at checkout, it sets a minimum price on paper bags.

            I’m not “in love” with the plastic bags, I simply don’t think it’s proper for government to ban them or set minimum (or maximum for that matter) prices on products.

            If plastic bags are a litter problem, that’s not the grocer’s fault or the fault of consumers in general, it’s the fault of whoever is leaving them on other’s property, including “public” property.

          • valley person

            Yes, and that grocer embeds the cost of your free bag in what I pay even if I bring my own bags. hence I am paying for your free bags, which means you are free riding, which was exactly my point. The nickel price is a minimum, and is based on what the grocers themselves say paper bags cost them. Which is why it isn’t a tax. Its a price for a product. And you can easily avoid paying it.

            There is no “if” regarding these single use bags as a litter problem. Its well documented, and I have personal experience cleaning up my own rural stretch of road. Its not a question of who’s fault it is since the perpetrator isn’t going to pay the price of the cleanup in any case. Its a question of eliminating the problem in the first place.

            I think you are familiar with the concept of free riding no? Why then, can’t you see its application here?

            And why Steve, do you put “public” property in quotes? You don’t believe there is such a thing as public property? Just curious.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      Considering you make your living whining and bitching about the weather this is especially funny.

  • Ryan

    I say git rid of all thim plastic bags. I just wanna live!!

  • Ryan

    I say git rid of all thim plastic bags. I just wanna live!!

    • Daryl

      Hall and Oates would want you to use re-usable bags from Uline. Too bad shipping will be $Eleventy Billion

      • Daryl
        • Ryan

          I just don’t like any plastic bags or fabric bags. Theirs a bunch of bacteria and germs on those bags when you reuse and my kids like to play with them alot…like putting them on there heads and running around and such. Plus, I heard their is a big bunch of bags floating in the ocean near Hawaii Islands. I want to go there someday and don’t want to see a bunch of dang bags ruining my view. Death to all bags…just buy what you can carry.

        • Ryan

          I just don’t like any plastic bags or fabric bags. Theirs a bunch of bacteria and germs on those bags when you reuse and my kids like to play with them alot…like putting them on there heads and running around and such. Plus, I heard their is a big bunch of bags floating in the ocean near Hawaii Islands. I want to go there someday and don’t want to see a bunch of dang bags ruining my view. Death to all bags…just buy what you can carry.

  • noibn

    Is this the same David Appell, former Portland TV weatherman?

    • noibn

      Still waiting, Mr. Appell, for your reply. Who are you?

      • David Appell

        noibn, I think you are significantly confused.

        • noibn

          Know sir, you are into obfuscation, lo, might at least have the cojones to go on the air and debate with Lars.

          Yo, you might even call for Founding floggers and/or varlet Person for back up, yet I would not recommend bending over or backward o forward to accommodate their, bray tell, quid quo progressive d’oh-sis probings.

          • David Appell

            noibn wrote:
            > Know sir, you are into obfuscation, lo, might at least have
            > the cojones to go on the air and debate with Lars.

            Funny you would mention that. I was scheduled to debate Lars Larson on 1/23/09, but only 5 seconds after I went on the air he said my connection was bad and disconnected me…. which was strange, since no one else has ever complained about my connection in the 2.5 yrs I’ve lived here….

            Despite a phone call and several emails after that, his producers never answered me about a reschedule….

          • noibn

            So you allege…yet your ID, veracity and credentials remain remote, at least compared to Chuck Weise and Lars Larson.

    • Verdantsea

      No. We spell our name like the fruit and my dad passed away several years ago.

  • Bagger

    The libs want choice when you get to murder a baby, but don’t want you to have any choice on what kind of bag your groceries go into.
    What a sick, sad comment on the crazy wack-job lib nuts.

    • Daryl

      Lib nuts are best served with a light coating of honey and salt. Conservative nuts are best left alone to hunt bears from a helicopter in Alaska!

    • Anonymous

      1) Nobody wants to murder babies. Abortion removes a blastocyst or fetus.
      2) You have a choice of what bag to use: whatever you bring with you. Personal responsibility and all that. Yes…?

  • Baggervance

    Don’t bag me, bro!!

  • Boonstick

    Who cares about plastic bags? Landfills are a total non-issue. The issue is our entire global economy depends on a constant flow of petroleum out of the ground, and there isn’t enough to sustain us for another 20 years. That is it. Everything else is a distraction. Humans have overpopulated the planet due to the petroleum craze. Treehuggers campaigning against plastic bags are utterly naive and clueless about the real threats to our existence.

    • Anonymous

      Uh, just where do you think plastic bags come from? Oh, that’s right: PETROLEUM!

      I thought conservatives were all about us not being dependent on the Middle East for oil, thus threatening our security. Yet they’re not willing to make such a simple sacrifice. It’s a lot easier to just wave the flag and post on message boards than to actually do anything.

  • Teri

    of course not. Most people don’t think about these kinds of things themselves. There are a select few of us in this world who think for the masses. It is those people who need to lead the way for the rest of the world. It should be the government doing what’s best for the people, Aka, getting rid of plastic bags which are destroying our earth, but they aren’t out for the bettering of humanity.

  • Wahlink

    “Seriously, if The People were truly clamoring for a ban on plastic bags, wouldn’t they simply stop using them rather than waiting for their enlightened elected elites to force all of us to put our groceries in bacteria-lined fabric bags?”

    Yeah the half with a brain WOULD stop using those bags and the other half would keep using them filling up landfills and clogging our seweer systems with unnecessary garbage and forcing the rest of us to deal with their mess. What a stupid commentary.

  • Wahlink

    “Seriously, if The People were truly clamoring for a ban on plastic bags, wouldn’t they simply stop using them rather than waiting for their enlightened elected elites to force all of us to put our groceries in bacteria-lined fabric bags?”

    Yeah the half with a brain WOULD stop using those bags and the other half would keep using them filling up landfills and clogging our seweer systems with unnecessary garbage and forcing the rest of us to deal with their mess. What a stupid commentary.

  • Spam

    Plastic bags cause serious environmental damage, and waste petroleum. You can wash reusable bags very easily. The benefits of outlawing plastic bags, outweigh the whining from those who are too lazy to use a reusable bag.

  • Mashplum

    Wow. I don’t know where to begin. Okay, first, not too classy equating shopping bags with abortion. I thought you conservatives took that seriously – oh wait – it’s not an election year. Second, as a man who buys groceries, I take issue with “a woman and her grocer.” Way to stereotype. Third, “bacteria-lined fabric bags?” Are your clothes made of disposable plastic? Mine are cloth and I manage to wash them somehow. Fourth, stop using “elite” like it’s an insult. “Elite” means “the best.” I want my elected officials to be elite. Only a fool prefers mediocre leadership.

  • Dave Ruc

    I agree, where are those darn liberals. Plastic bags are great. We should be able to use freon and DDT whenever and wherever we like, too! Darn liberals.

  • Dave Ruc

    I agree, where are those darn liberals. Plastic bags are great. We should be able to use freon and DDT whenever and wherever we like, too! Darn liberals.

  • Gosney

    The pro-choice liberalism you (Dan Chriestenson) refer to is based in utilitarianism. So, with the looming problems of pollution, waste accumilation and peak oil outweighing the desire for people to get free bags to carry their shopping, I think it’s resonable to establish this law. It follows the same logic as a ban on fly tipping. Individual rights are sacrificed daily for the greater good and Liberals and Libetarians make allowances in their philosophy for this sort of compromise.

  • The Man From Glad

    You might want to try wrapping one around your head.

  • Person

    Why does it have to be between a woman and her grocer? Sounds sexist to me!

  • Paper or plastic: a loaded question. One killed a tree, and probably has cockroach eggs in it. One will still be in a landfill in three trillion years. I know! I will take half and half. Hear that, you hippies!! I am killing trees and putting toxic waste into mother gaia! Suck it!

  • Guest

    OHNOES TEH EBIL BACTERIAS.

    You want to improve health? Ban doorknobs. Or keyboards and computer mice. They’re typically dirtier than toilet seats, but nobody seems to think about that.

  • noibn

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twin_Earths_(comic_strip) – Interesting the scenarios that would be scripted today.

    Certain David Appell would love fancying himself as a Prince Torro from Terra.

  • Arthur Dent

    Retailers in Ontario, Canada started charging 5¢ for plastic bags years ago. They didn’t wait for a law to force them to do this. They did it because it was a good idea, and supported by consumers. Consumption of plastic bags was cut in half overnight. Of course, this would never work in conservative America, because it makes too much sense.

  • Dan Chriestenson

    A Note From the Author. . .Interesting comments ranging from silly to serious, and covering a broad spectrum of maturity. If I may add, the problem upon which we would all likely agree is that irresponsible individuals improperly dispose of plastic bags. The proposed bag ban legislation would impose a needless limitation on the many because of the actions of a few. How about instead of banning the bags, we punish those who litter? Who wouldn’t support legislation significantly increasing the punishment for those caught fouling the environment with their irresponsibility? (By the way. . . for the True Believers of anthropogenic global warming, may I remind you that plastic bags sealed in a landfill become sequestered carbon. Much cheaper to sequester carbon this way than to spend billions, as some have proposed, creating vast underground storage to sequester carbon from the atmosphere. Just a thought.) And now. . .more of YOUR thoughts. . .

    • valley person

      Dan, we already punish those who litter if they do so in front of a cop who isn’t on a more important call. I spend a few days a year volunteering to clean up the mess others leave behind on my rural road. Fewer plastic bags to pick up will not ruin my day. Plus plastic does not decompose and ends up being ingested by wildlife, and that wildlife is a common resource. So banning throwaway single use bags, and asking people to use alternatives, seems like a very small imposition to help solve a known problem.

      To your “true believer” crack, I’ll only say that what we “believe” in is science, and the findings on global warming are accepted by every major scientific organization on the planet. Using plastic bags to sequester carbon is about the most ridiculous idea I have come across yet. We are supposed to pump out oil, which is sequestered carbon, to manufacture plastic bags, using lots of energy in the process, to take home groceries and then drive the bag ton a landfill, burning yet more energy? This is your solution to a problem you don’t even think exists?

      Get serious.

    • David Appell

      It is not clear at all the landfilling plastic bags is a good way to sequester carbon, since a great deal of energy goes into drilling the oil needed, transporting it all over the world, manufacturing the plastic bags, and then transporting the bags to stores everywhere. For example, extraction oil from shale requires more energy that it provides (I forget the exact ratio).

      Of course, making clothe bags requires energy too. That’s why I’m saying it’s not clear. (but it is suspicious).

  • Dan Chriestenson

    A Note From the Author. . .Interesting comments ranging from silly to serious, and covering a broad spectrum of maturity. If I may add, the problem upon which we would all likely agree is that irresponsible individuals improperly dispose of plastic bags. The proposed bag ban legislation would impose a needless limitation on the many because of the actions of a few. How about instead of banning the bags, we punish those who litter? Who wouldn’t support legislation significantly increasing the punishment for those caught fouling the environment with their irresponsibility? (By the way. . . for the True Believers of anthropogenic global warming, may I remind you that plastic bags sealed in a landfill become sequestered carbon. Much cheaper to sequester carbon this way than to spend billions, as some have proposed, creating vast underground storage to sequester carbon from the atmosphere. Just a thought.) And now. . .more of YOUR thoughts. . .

  • Humanist

    The difference between a woman’s right to choose and the right to use plastic bags are very different. A woman who decides to get an abortion makes that decision for her and her family based on their beliefs and situation. If she decides to abort the embryo that decision affects her and those around her and no one else. THAT is why she has the right to choose.

    The use of plastic bags affects everyone on the planet. The petroleum is mined and that causes environmental impacts to the area it is done with and the people who’s land it is mind on get screwed. Then American consumers use the plastic bags and either throw them into a landfill or on the street. Some of it ends up in the Pacific Ocean helping to grow a gyre 34 million square miles in size just floating out in the ocean. It dissolves and gets ingested by all the organisms living out there. This affects everybody. Why is that so hard to see? I’m so tired of people like this trying to make political arguments based off their own personal wants and desires. Get over yourselves, we all live here.

  • Munknorr

    And if people were truly clamoring for less government and reduction of entitlements, the masses would be avoiding use of government services, and sending back part of their Social Security and Medicare.

    Than makes as much sense as your argument. The reason we have laws is to shape peoples’ behavior. Bring opposing facts or principles to bear upon a specific law, but don’t undermine the entire raison d’etre for the legal system which is a fundament of civilization.

    To paraphrase a bumper sticker in the hippie days, Don’t like taxes? Next time you need a fireman, just call a tea-partier for help.

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