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The green in grocery bag ban would go to the grocers

Submitted by on Wednesday, 27 August 2008 No Comment

I’m as green as the next over-stressed, under-loved working mom, which means I do it when it’s convenient.

I use paper ware only at birthday parties and plastic utensils only in the guys’ lunch. And those are left over from past parties, when I would inevitably panic and buy more forks and spoons, only to find a gross or two stashed in the garage much later.

I’ve recycled since back when it meant toting newspapers back to the office, which was capitalism at its finest for my employer. I paid to subscribe to the product I helped edit, then gave it back so the company could make money. What a sweet scheme.

The guys already know how to recycle, and Big Guy, being a bit on the anal side, is quite the little drill sergeant about it. Nothing frosts him more than seeing Little Guy drop paper in the “”regular”" garbage can — though that could be due more to bossy older brother syndrome than to any deep interest in the Sierra Club.

Which is why I resent the California Legislature trying to charge me 25 cents per disposable bag — paper or plastic — in two years. As if we’re not all already paying more at the grocery store.

And I resent even more that the bulk of the retailers would get to keep the bulk of the money collected, according to a state Senate committee analysis on an earlier incarnation of the scheme, Assembly Bill 2058. It’s now been amended into Assembly Bill 2769, which, ironically, started out as consumer-oriented legislation requiring the state to figure out how to make air conditioners more energy efficient.

So let me get this straight: Grocery stores get to charge me for what they’re currently providing for free, at a $1,500 to $3,000 a month savings for the retailer, according to a Sacramento Bee story.

I’m sure retailers are seeing green, and it has nothing to do with reducing pollution.

Granted, the bill likely would do that if approved. According the Californians Against Waste, Ireland saw a 90 percent reduction in plastic bag use after creating a similar law.

For the record, I already recycle my grocery bags. I’m a Californian against waste, too. Particularly when the state wants to waste my money and hand a rebate to big business.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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