Corvallis bag ban & tax survey

Hilex Poly

The Corvallis City Council is considering installing a ban and tax on all shopping bags, both paper and plastic. In exploring options, the City Council has asked for comments from the public in this survey.

Please take a few moments and let the Corvallis City Council know your thoughts on bag bans and taxes on shopping bags.

Hilex believes that the answer lies within common sense legislation that preserves Oregon’s manufacturing and recycling jobs, rather than increasing costs for local residents.  Despite misconceptions, plastic bags are 100% recyclable and made in the U.S., using domestic natural gas and support American jobs.

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Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Government Regulation, Taxes | 63 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Bob Clark

    I live in Portland, and know first hand the drawbacks to the plastic bag ban.  For me, I frequently walk to a nearby grocery store.  The paperbags given for carrying one’s groceries back are inferior to plastic bags.  Paper bags don’t do well in the rain.  They are not flexible as plastic bags which allow you to walk naturally with your hands dangling below your waste.  As a result of Portland’s plastic bag ban, I have gone to using produce plastic bags available at certain sections of the store, and bagging my own groceries.  I do not think the reusable bag thing is so swank as it means you have to carry around a bag both ways, and these bags require washing using detergent.

    In sum, the plastic bag ban is just for show to appease the thin brained, good- intentions-is-what-counts crowd.

    • JoelinPDX

      Are you talking about the liberal greenies Bob?

    • valley person

       Bob, you seem like a reasonably intelligent person. The reusable bags are easy to fold up and stick in your pocket on the way to the store. I think you could figure this out if you worked at it.

      As for washing them….if you aren’t obsessive compulsive this is an infrequent need unless you drag them along the sidewalk on your walks. 

      • guest

        Knuckle-dragging liberal greenies carry bags high and dry on their brows – and, bags with handles off the back ledge. 

      • DH

        Hi Valley person, why do you insist on imposing your values and practices on the rest of society?   I often commute by bicycle and my wife often calls me to bring groceries home on my way home from work.   With some practice I can get a family’s worth of groceries on my bike with plastic bags.  That won’t work with paper bags.   Also it is not realistic to carry bags with me every time I ride my bike not knowing if I’m going to the store or not.  

  • Carol Tate

    Plastic bags are reuseable and recyclable and should not be banned.  What is a visitor to Corvallis supposed to do when shopping?

    • valley person

       Buy the paper bags or bring your own plastic bags or have some reusable bags with you. Do you really need instructions on this?

  • Hugger

    This is good news. All bags are bad except natural hemp bags, which can be smoked when you get home from the store.
    Plastic is from oil – paper from trees. Both harm us and our mother, the earf.
    I applaud these brave soles for taking a public stance on such an important issue that is effecting us all.
    Something must be done and they are doing it.

  • Wayne Alexander

    I live on the coast and let me tell you that paper bags don’t work well in the wet.  I’m not against paper being used, it puts our local people to work in the forest, the mills and where paper is made.  Plastic is recyclable it works well in all types of weather.  There are times when I think that our local politcos don’t have enough to do, everything is supposed to be green, I really think the only green they are concerned about is the dollar.  Looking at the state of our great, or used to be great, country I don’t think we can trust any of our so called leaders as far as we can throw them, their agenda is to scalp the public, this just being one small item.

    • David Appell

      Plastic bags *are* recyclable, but only about 2% are, in the US (1% worldwide). Meanwhile they take up 4% of the world’s oil production.

      An estimated 100,000 marine mammals and 1 million seabirds die each year from entanglement or ingestion of plastic. Maybe if they were minute-old fetuses conservatives would actually care about them. 

      • Rupert in Springfield

        > Meanwhile they take up 4% of the world’s oil production.
        >An estimated 100,000 marine mammals and 1 million seabirds die each year from entanglement or ingestion of plastic.

        Both of these were debunked years ago. The marine mammal gaff actually has been a straight up lie from the get go. It was based on a Canadian study from the 80’s that didn’t even mention marine mamels and was misquoted in an Australian fishing net study.

        The mammal misquote has been really widely reported I am absolutely stunned someone trying to be a science writer would make such an egregious mistake like this. How can you be unaware of something so basic and be involved in the field of science writing on any sort of professional level?

        • David Appell

          About 4% of the world’s oil production goes to making plastic bags.” 
          — S Muthu et al, “An Exploratory Comparative Study on Eco-Impact of Paper and Plastic Bags,” Textile Bioengineering and Informatics Society (, doi:10.3993/tbis200912, 

          There are an estimated one million tons of plastic in the northern Pacific Ocean. 
          — K Saido et al, “New contamination derived from marine debris plastics,” Presented at the 238th American Chemical Society National Meeting, August 22-26,2009, Washington DC 

          An estimated 100,000 marine mammals and 1 million seabirds die each year from entanglement or ingestion of plastic. 
          — J. G. B. Derraik, Marine Polltn. Bull, 44, 842, 2002

        • valley person

           Rupert, given David’s citations, are you still stunned?

          • Rupert in Springfield

            Given that a quick check of the second, is citing the infamous Australian study that misquoted the original Canadian study, nope, not stunned at all.

            Pretty much par for the course with Appell (this is the guy who once claimed that fuel use goes as the square of speed in the legendary Appell mistaking momentum for velocity gaff).

            The thing that gets me is he maintains he has a science degree and is a science writer to boot and comes up with this sloppy stuff time and time again.

            So no, not stunned, since it confirms what I stated previously.

          • valley person

            If peer reviewed papers are citing recent papers that reference earlier papers, that is a pretty good sign they have not been “debunked.”

            I have to ask. Do you ever make it to the beach? And if you have, have you ever encountered much plastic there? And if you have encountered much plastic (SOLV can provide you data on how much is there on a given day) did you ever stop to wonder where that plastic came from and where it might be headed, what with that big ocean out there and all?

          • David Appell

            Yes, and some of that plastic in the oceans is headed back up the food chain, both as microscopic bits of plastic and as toxins as the plastic degrades:


            “Roughly 43 percent of all marine mammals, 86 percent of all sea turtle and 44 percent of sea bird species are found with plastics in or around their bodies,” Cummins said  “Thirty-five percent of the samples of fish that we collected in the north Pacific had plastic in their stomachs.”


          • 3H

            So, lets see your studies that debunk Appell’s.  I’m sure you must have some given how certain of your position you seem to be.   

          • Rupert in Springfield

             The misquote in the Australian study is pretty widely known and reported Not my job to school you on it.

          • 3H

            It’s your job to back up your statements.  If you refuse, or can’t, then there is no reason to accept your assertions.  Your grasp of facts has been shown to be tenuous at times, and just plain wrong at others.  For all I know, this is along the lines of (and I’m paraphrasing), “Democrats have received more donations from Wall Street than Republicans”, and your recent confusion over gross and net costs.

            Before you start schooling people, you may want reflect on the fact that many of your attempts to do so have resulted in you simply embarrassing yourself.

            What do you make of those other works cited?  Are you so myopic in your vision that you didn’t notice them?

          • valley person

             “The misquote in the Australian study is pretty widely known and reported”

            So there! Its because I said so!

          • David Appell

            Rupert, your obsession with my career and my degree is getting very creepy…. I realize that such personal attacks — and even your lies about things you claim I’ve said that I never did — are a proxy used when you have no other countering argument or facts, but it’s seriously out of bounds. Doing this while hiding your own identity is cowardly. 

          • Rupert in Springfield

             My nick is Rupert in Springfield. That”s hiding my identity?

            How many Rupert in Springfields do you think there are?

            If you Google, Rupert Springfield Oregon, is it really going to take more than three seconds to find me?

            I think you have officially moved into the realm of utter idiot with this comment.

            Not knowing the Australian study had long ago been debunked is one thing for a lay person. For a person claiming to have a PhD in physics its a slight misstep. For a science writer, which you claim to be, its a major blunder.

            However trying to say I am hiding my identity with the nick I use is absolutely asinine.

          • valley person

             You keep repeating it was debunked. By whom?

          • David Appell

            Again you are obsessed with my education, and again you lie about my degree. For some reason — envy, intimidation, I don’t know what — you have taken a creepy interest in me, even in what seminars I do or don’t attend, and you repeated lie about them and about things I’m supposed to have written that I never did. Your false statement about my degree was corrected before (2/15/11) on OregonCatalyst, after you claimed my degree was “fake” and the moderator removed your comment. 

            All without the courage to give your real identity, though I do know you once used the email address “[email protected]”Please give your real name — I’ll keep it on hand in case of future libel, or in the event your obsession moves offline.

          • D4

            VP it is my understanding that most “grocery” bags are produced from natural gas not oil.  

  • Ballistic45

    Paper bags, plastic bags, it make NO difference..  The name of the Game is “CONTROL” and “TAXATION” or “PENALTIES”…  Liberals want control of our lives and a path into our pockets ANY WAY they can get it using Fuzzy, Warm, Feels Good BS to get it..  T

  • daddybull

    Were I passing through and needed to shop—when I got to the check stand, to be told I needed to pay extra for something to get it out of the store;I would leave it parked on the counter. I would exit the store and the community.It would be obvious the idiots were in charge of the asylum.
    To be consistant, will the ban include the plastic bags used for bulk foods- human and animal;produce items;frozen food items which will seat and create moisture;in store baked goods such as bagels or granola?
    The fabric content of store fabric bags carries no FDA approval or certification that they are free of compounds far harder on the environment and humans than a biodegradeable plastic bag. The “approved” bag lasts forever? Become what when discarded? What toxic off-gassing when new, used, or discarded?  Will there have to be a bag inspector to make sure nothing was put into a bag which was stolen rather than purchased?
    Will there be someone at the doors to check that bags coming into the store meet some sanitary standard? This is absurd!!

  • Oregon engineer

    I have a better Idea.  ban all bags of every sort.  force everybody to use home made cloth bags for all shopping.  creates a cottage industry and new jobs. give valley person a job.  sounds like vp doesn’t have one. that would include produce bulk items groceries etc.  If you don’ have a bag request a box that the stores are going to crush any way.  Require all the stores to have boxes on hand.   If you walked to the store to shop hire some body to carry them or deliver them.  another cottage industry and job creator.
    One could ask valley person to create one of these new businesses.  Falls right in line with the jobs lost from the paper industry and plastic bag industry.  Problem is if you bring your own bags then the cities can’t tax them for revenue.

    • valley person

       “give valley person a job.  sounds like vp doesn’t have one.”

      Probably not the first or last time you are wrong.

  • Worrier

    Why not simply ban shopping? Most people buy much more than they need. The bags are just a symptom of an underlying problem to too much material goods in the US for our own good.
    Our society is crumbling due to overindulgence.
    Please – can’t we all just stop the madness??

  • Rupert in Springfield

    You know I have often maintained that the goal of liberalism is the control of every aspect of ones life. Whenever I make such a statement the usual cast of characters pop their heads up and say “Who me? you are paranoid”.

    Well, this is a good one. I mean seriously – you are trying to control what sort of bag I am offered at check out?

    This is why people don’t like the left very much. Remember – To win the presidency, if you are a liberal you have to run as a moderate to win. Yet if you are a moderate you need to run as a conservative to win. If you are a conservative, you just need to run as who you are to win. Kind of tells ya something don’t it?

    • David Appell

      “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises
      in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”
      — John Kenneth Galbraith

      • Rupert in Springfield

         Frankly I would view trying to control what sort of bag people use as the selfish motivation here.

        Regardless, I would argue that trying to control other peoples lives is probably a bit older exercise, and that’s what liberals try and do.

        • valley person

           Denying you a free bag is a lot less intrusive than a camera poked up one’s uterus.

          • Rupert in Springfield

             Well since I, and no conservative I know of is proposing uterine spy cams, this comment is especially inane.

          • valley person

             So you missed what your conservative friends in Virgina were up to?

    • valley person

      ” You know I have often maintained that the goal of liberalism is the control of every aspect of ones life.”

      Yes, you maintain this very often. Almost daily. And you are wrong every time you maintain it. For the record, we liberals have no interest in controlling every, or even most aspects of your life. We do have an interest in preventing your life from negatively impacting ours and the planet. When we have to pick up your litter (which I do alongside my rural road every year) and your litter kills our wildlife, and there are better alternatives available that are at most a very minor inconvenience to you, then we propose sensible changes.

      On the other hand, conservatives want control over women’s reproduction, over who gets to marry and who doesn’t, and over forcing everyone to drive if they want to get anywhere. To name a few.

      “I mean seriously – you are trying to control what sort of bag I am offered at check out?”

      We are trying to limit the grocery stores from giving away unnecessary, throw away bags, many of which end up on our roadsides, in our trash dumps, and in our wildlife. 

      “This is why people don’t like the left very much”

      “The people” elected Obama by a pretty wide margin, and have elected moderate to liberal democrats to every statewide office in Oregon. They might not like us, but they seem to like our policies better than yours.

      “Kind of tells ya something don’t it?”

      Democrats, running as moderates, have gotten the majority of the popular vote in 5 of the last 6 presidential elections. The one exception, Mr Bush, had to run as a “compassionate” conservative, otherwise called a moderate, to be competitive. When Romney gets the nomination, he will pivot from “conservative” back to “moderate” faster than a hummingbird to sugar water.

      Kind of tells you something, doesn’t it?

      • Rupert in Springfield

         >For the record, we liberals have no interest in controlling every, or even most aspects of your life.

        You are trying to control what bag I get at the grocery store. Please, don’t be ridiculous here.

        • valley person

           If what bag you get at the grocery store represents the sum total or even most of your life, then I respectfully suggest you need to try harder.

          • 3H

            They can have my plastic bag when they can pry it from my cold dead fingers.  

            When plastic bags are outlawed, only outlaws will have plastic bags.

            They go on about plastic bags as if it was a core constitutional freedom to get one from your grocery store.   To the point of being silly and claiming that banning them is somehow synonymous with an attempt to control “every” aspect of a person’s life.    Every aspect?  Really?

          • valley person

             It is weird isn’t it? This free bag at the grocery store thing has become such a big deal on Catalyst. You would think we were making them all ride bicycles or something.

          • David Appell

            It illustrates how befuddled and mutated conservatism is in today’s America. They had no problems with the Bush administration’s wiretaps and torture and dark prisons and unpaid and untruthful wars, when true conservatives would have fought loudly against such government excesses. Instead they make their stands on plastic bags and denying the science of climate change…. It’s rather pathetic, because the truth is that the leaders of the Republican party are really about serving the wealthy, but they have convinced lots of people to vote for them based on social issues, which when elected they never pursue. Nor when they are in power do they try to exercise fiscal restraint, because that, too, is against the interests of the wealthy. Their own party takes them for chumps, and that has to be frustrating, and debates like this one are where that frustration boils over. 

          • Rupert in Springfield

             >They had no problems with the Bush administration’s wiretaps and torture and dark prisons and unpaid and untruthful wars

            Actually conservatives raised a pretty big stink over the whole thing. Lead conservative William F Buckley did a cover story on National Review about it, while Bush 2 was president, saying we should get out. Pat Buchanan said we shouldn’t go in from day one. I said, before Bush 2’s term was over, that Iraq was a mistake.

            How you missed this is anyone’s guess.

            Why you don’t criticize BO for the same things. The wiretapping, the torture, GITMO, is not a guess at all.

            You never gave a damn about the wiretapping.

            The people being tortured? They were whores, you pimped them out as fodder for anti Bush nonsense, but when your guy is doing it, you don’t give a rip.

            What nonsense. Please stop with the high and mighty stuff. It’s a little ridiculous with what you guys have tolerated under BO.

          • Rupert in Springfield

             I respectfully submit you need to try harder with your argument. The fact that a plastic bag is such a minutiae of my life, and yet liberals still want to control it is precisely the point.

            Yeesh, you are such an incredible dullard. You couldn’t even pick up on that?

          • valley person

             One persons minutiae unfortunately adds up to a lot of unwanted plastic baggies scattered about the beach, the oceans, my road, and the food chain.

            Learn to live without free plastic grocery bags if and when you visit Corvallis, and stop whining about it. 

    • David Appell

      What liberals want is the exact opposite — to be left alone. Clean up after yourself instead of throwing your trash and refuse into the water and air where it harms everyone, and pay the true cost of your products instead of expecting all of society to pay them for you. 

      In short, they want everyone, including conservatives, to actually demonstrate the responsibility they are so keen to pontificate about.

      • Marvine McConoughey

         I walk over 700 miles each year on rural roads.  Perhaps I’ve seen three plastic bags in more than a decade of such walking.  I don’t want to minimize such findings, but I believe that paper bag advocates are overemphasizing the local litter resulting from discarding  the kinds of locally sold plastic bags that are the target of proposed Corvallis legislation.

        Given the frequent references to ocean litter, what percentage reduction in ocean litter is estimated to result from imposing the advocated Corvallis plastic bag regulation?  I suspect it will be too small to measure.

        Corvallis suffers from an abundance of reform needs.  In its government, in its bureaucracy, in its city management.  These are not as simple to address as the trendy issue of plastic bags, but are far more worthy of attention from local reformists and the city counselors.

        • valley person

           “I walk over 700 miles each year on rural roads.  Perhaps I’ve seen three plastic bags in more than a decade of such walking. ”

          Lucky you Marvin. I live on a rural road, participate in twice a year roadside litter pickups with my neighbors, and fill large blue bags with soggy, filthy plastic bags  that are next to impossible to extract from the roadside blackberry brambles.

          Most plastic packaging is hard to regulate at the local level. “Free” plastic bags given to people at the grocery store at my expense are easy to get rid of, and there are better alternatives available.

          • Marvine McConoughey

             See David Appell’s response above concerning his felt need to ask for documentation.

        • David Appell

          Anecdotes are not data. Do you have any actual data on this subject? Can we at least see your records of plastic bag sightings on your walks, which days the sightings occurred on, records of your mileage walked each year, what your routes were and how they varied, and how many miles you walked through the oceans? Do you have data to support your claim of “700 miles?” In the interest of science, of course. Also, how many plastic bags didn’t you see on your walks but would be found in a more systematic search? 

          Your second paragraph is a good argument for banning all plastic bags (as well as why no particular person should have to pay their taxes, since it’s such a relatively small amount it would be tiny compared to the entire federal tax revenue). Thanks for making it. 

      • Rupert in Springfield

         >pay the true cost of your products instead of expecting all of society to pay them for you.

        When you guys pony up and start paying back for the “unintended consequences” of your products, maybe this iwll have some meaning.

        Let’s start with Americas longest and most expensive war – The War on Poverty. Decades later the poverty rate remains unchanged. Pay us back, then you will have some sort of ground to stand on here.

        • 3H

          Actually, the war against the poor started long before the War on Poverty.  Stop the war against the poor, and we won’t need a war on poverty.  

          Pay up first.. your people started it.

          • David Appell

            Yes, and nothing has hurt the poor and the working class more than the essentially flat level of median income over the last three decades, despite vast gains in productivity. And that has come about from policy decisions that drastically favor the wealthy. 

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >And that has come about from policy decisions that drastically favor the wealthy.

            Considering the wealthy pay about double the total percentage of total taxes they did 30 years ago this statement is drastically idiotic.

          • valley person

             Total taxes?

          • Rupert in Springfield

             Please cite the government program called the war on the poor.

            While you are at it, please explain why income disparity tend to go down under Republican presidents and goes up under Democrats if “you guys started it”.

          • 3H

            LOL.. I don’t have one.. and it’s not a governmental policy.. more of a policy of the wealthy.  

            I would school ya, but I doubt you’d listen.

          • 3H

            “While you are at it, please explain why income disparity tend to go down under Republican presidents and goes up under Democrats…”

            “Republican presidents have produced a great deal more income growth for rich families than for poor families, resulting in a substantial increase in inequality. On average, families at the 95th percentile of the income distribution have experienced identical income growth under Democratic and Republican presidents, while thoseat the 20th percentile have experienced more than four times as much income growth under
            Democrats as they have under Republicans. These differences are attributable to partisan
            differences in unemployment (which has been 30 percent lower under Democratic presidents, on average) and GDP growth (which has been 30 percent higher under Democratic presidents, on average)…”


            Care to explain, or share, the basis for your assertion?  Granted this study was written in 2004, so maybe things have changed.  Or is this just another “commonly known fact” that I’ll have to find for myself?

  • Earfboy

    Rupert. You are obviously not a caring person of our mother the earf if you can’t live without a plastic bag. Please. Care for her as she cares for us.

    • Rupert in Springfield


  • Ballistic45

    Don’t you just Love those Liberals?  Bless their hearts…  Now they want us to use reusable bags for shopping while they buy Pampers, bottled water, Milk in plastic jugs and a host of others that not to long ago were never heard of..  We use to rinse diapers out in the toilet and wash them for reuse..  Milk use to be delivered in a Glass bottles and reused over and over and over..   Now days Liberals join everyone else in driving when we use to walk…  So knock off the holier than thou crap….  Your bottled water plastic containers that you buy can be put end to end and stretch several times around the earth…  And you buy these by the dozen where as plastic shopping bags number far less per shopping trip..  If you REALLY want to Help MOTHER EARTH, ban plastic Diapers..  Force mothers to once again turn to cloth diapers and reuse them over and over and what is REALLY cool they can be passed down as you have more kids…  AIN’T that a novel idea?  And let us turn to Glass milk jugs.. Return empties just like beer cans and bottles…  Whew, I’m on a role now….

  • George

    banning bags is completly retarded.  end of discussion.

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