Mailbag: Plastic bag problem starts upstream

Perhaps we should have a reasonable informative/educational community outreach rather than yet another attempt of nanny government by our city and a set of comments by a council member to create another piece of legislation that, in idealistic terms, is great but, from an end-product standpoint, lacks a lot ("Plastic bag ban in works," Aug. 18).

I must give the council member credit, though, when he said, while fishing, that he thought a plastic bag was a jelly fish. I made the same mistake myself, but at least I knew that the bag was from Whittier via the San Gabriel River, not a Huntington Beach business-provided bag. Hence my point — this ordinance is akin to gun control or spay-and-neuter laws. Criminals will have guns, and irresponsible dog owners will let the flock roam and fornicate. You cannot govern irresponsible people and burden the responsible ones at a cost to them.

This is idealistic and, yes, good in its intentions but questionable at least. As the old saying goes, "You cannot change a tiger's stripes." Irresponsible behavior, as Councilman Don Hansen said, will continue, and this law will do nothing to change that. I am environmentally sensitive, to say the least, but know the limits. I agree in principle, but this is an educational matter, not governmental matter.

Will this stop the bags washing down the rivers to our beaches from our neighbors inland? I doubt it, and if you think so, you are quite gullible and need to spend time inland educating those folks before they send their trash downstream.

Drew Kovacs

Huntington Beach


Bag laws must be consistent

I do not have any issues with providing my own bags. I take exception to the people on WIC and food stamps being exempt ("Plastic bag ban in works," Aug. 18). What is the justification? In general, most of those on food stamps and/or WIC are also receiving housing supplements (another funding provided by good ol' taxpaying citizens). Why must the middleman be put in the position to always pay and cover for those who are sucking the system?

If you want the bagless program to work, everyone needs to be on board. Advertise for months when the program is going to begin will burn it into anyone's head. (Look at the 405 weekend closure. It worked!) Do not provide bags; do as the warehouse stores do, where you find a box or put it back in your basket. After a couple of times needing to put your groceries in your car individually, it will become evident to bring in your own bags.

Damn near anywhere you go these days, someone is giving those bags away. I understand that the grocery stores are the biggest provider of plastic bags, but why is this not effective to all types of stores, clothing, departments, etc.? What happens to the consumer when they shop at the grocery/department store? Are the grocery items going to be placed in bags that carry a 10-cent fee if you forget yours and the clothing, fishing, etc. items be placed in bags free of charge? This can work, but everyone must play by the rules and stick to them.

Janice Goodwin

Huntington Beach

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