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Will California's plastic bag ban do any good?

Will California's plastic bag ban do any good?
Laurie Gould of Pasadena is covered with 600 bags during a rally in support of a ban on plastic bags on November 16, 2010. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The Times urges, "Make it count by embracing the spirit of the plastic ban." The editorial board has awakened to the realization that the passage of the Proposition 67 bag ban, by itself, ensures little or no change to the quantity of plastic bags that might be strewn over the landscape. ("California banned plastic bags. Now it's up to consumers to stop being wasteful," editorial, Nov. 23)

My L.A. Times still arrives on my doorstep in a plastic bag. Bags are being dispensed at every store as usual; the sturdier ones now sold at the grocery stores will last longer in the ocean.

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If this simple appeal to the conscience of shoppers to carry reusable woven bags does the trick, why did we bother to pass a law?

William Vietinghoff, Thousand Oaks

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To the editor: The advocates of Proposition 67 (including yourself) still are trying to push canvas bags on us despite the health hazard.

Yes, people should periodically wash these bags, but being human many will not, thereby exposing themselves and their families to harmful bacteria. Personally, I will continue to use the plastic bags to line wastebaskets.

The answer to your environmental concern was always obvious: People who litter with plastic bags should be subject to to same criminal penalties as a drunk driver.

Joe Marcy, Manhattan Beach

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To the editor: Here's a possible solution to plastic bags: Why not ask the supermarkets to go the Costco route? Use boxes, but specially designed ones.

If we consumers had reusable boxes with hand holds that fit the top, main and bottom sections of shopping carts, the "bagging" of groceries would go faster. And there might be fewer trips from car to kitchen.

Carole Dougherty, San Clemente

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