Are you ready to bring a bag to the grocery store?

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  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Feb. 26, 2016 7:58 a.m.

    To RRB From the American Plastics Industry, plastic takes 10 years, possibly more to decompose. The decomposition is highly dependent on its exposure to the sun.

    People think paper products will decompose in a month or 2, yet ignore the fact that if you dig in many landfills you can pull out Newspapers that are 50 years old and be able to read them.

    As I mentioned, newer plastic bags can be made using biodegradable plastics that meet current ASTM standards and have decomposed down to 10% of its original weight after 12 weeks.

    There are plastic solutions

    Feb. 25, 2016 7:10 p.m.


    From Cleveland University.
    Did You Know? Here’s How Long it Takes for Certain Products to Decompose
    •Banana Peel: 3-4 weeks
    •Paper Bag: 1 month
    •Cardboard: 2 months
    •Wool Sock: 1 year
    •Tinned Steel Can: 50 years
    •Aluminum Can: 200-500 years (But if recycled, it can be reused within 6 weeks!)
    •Disposable Diapers: 550 years
    •Plastic Bags : 20-1,000 years
    •Plastic Jug: 1 million years
    •Glass: 1-2 million years
    •Styrofoam: 1+ million years

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 25, 2016 10:00 a.m.

    I would also add that when some cities in CA first initiated the ban, stores (Example--Albertsons) gave cloth bags to shoppers at no-charge for a limited amount of time.

    As for poor people riding the bus with their groceries--i'm guessing many use their own bags already since the plastic bags are prone to breaking.

    On the other hand--what a great Relief Society project--making canvas bags and donating them to the poor!

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Feb. 25, 2016 9:57 a.m.

    To "Baron Scarpia" tell us where a landfill is located on "prime real estate"?

    Every landfill I have ever seen is located in a place far away from "prime real estate".

    While you find that, tell us how using a plastic bag you get at the grocery store as a garbage can liner is any different than buying a garbage bag liner and throwing those away? The point is MOST grocery bags are not used once, but are at least twice. That second use often is as a garbage bag, which actually CUTS down on the need for buying and manufacturing more garbage bags out of plastic.

    To "VIDAR" done. It is called a "burn" plant. But your ilk doesn't like that either.

    To "RRB" but paper bags use more energy to produce, making them LESS environmentally friendly. Also, you are ignoring the fact that if left in the sun a grocery bag can decompose in 10 years, or if it is made out of biodegradable plastic it goes away much faster. The sad thing is PAPER takes up more space in landfills and does not decompose like the newer plastic bags.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    Feb. 25, 2016 8:58 a.m.


    How many bags do you think the average family brings home when they get back from a week's shopping? Of course they're not using a bag a day, but they could very well be using 6 bags a week.

    I don't know what the solution is, but plastic bags really are a problem. They're the most difficult to recycle, which is why they're hardly ever accepted anymore, and the number of bags getting thrown out is tremendous.

    As to why Democrats often resort to taxes to solve problems: they do it because they realize (as do Republicans) social behavior is most quickly changed by money matters.

    "A cut of meat leaking juices into a cloth bag turn it into a Petri dish."

    What do you do with your cloth shirt when it gets meat juice on it? The bags are made out of cloth--wash them.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 25, 2016 8:57 a.m.

    "California that banned plastic bags outright was repealed last November by referendum"

    Not quite, not repealed. The approval of a referendum means the law is suspended until a ballot measure is voted on in the November 2016 election. In the meantime, many CA cities--affecting a majority of the population in CA--have already enacted bag bans, beginning in 2012.

    I've been using canvas bags for awhile and won't go back to plastic. The plastic bags were annoying--breaking if they were too heavy. Now I can carry twice as much and make fewer trips from the car. I've always put meat in small plastic bags provided in the meat/produce dept. so no contamination worries and I do launder the bags occasionally.

    Target deducts cents from my bill for bringing my own bags.

    Really not a big deal. And if it helps marine life and the environment, all the better.

  • utah think box SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 25, 2016 7:32 a.m.

    It amazes me that conservatives in Utah cannot see beyond the present. They love Costco and guess what. They don't have bags!! You will survive.

  • chinamom Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 25, 2016 2:24 a.m.

    I live in Beijing China where they have charged for plastic bags at supermarkets for a number of years. If you need one, the fee is about 3cents (USD) per bag. I have lots of fun, colorful fabric bags that I use when I go to the market here. I also have them at our cabin in UT....and when I show up at Smith's & Walmart...they give me a 5cent CREDIT for every I have with me!

    It is not an inconvenience to bring them with you...once you develop the's all about changing your mindset (IMO)

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Feb. 24, 2016 10:46 p.m.

    Yeah. I'm prepared. It's really easy. In fact, it seems kind of selfish not to.

  • No One Of Consequence West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 24, 2016 10:34 p.m.

    Who reimburses the merchants for the accounting costs? I work in retail I.T. and political pipe dreams like this cost merchants a lot of money and time.

    If the bags are a problem for recycling plants then someone should be putting some effort into educating the public about what items should and should not go into recycling bins.

    Feb. 24, 2016 10:22 p.m.

    Paper bags are renewable, and they decompose in a very short time.

  • RedLanternJake Magna, UT
    Feb. 24, 2016 8:45 p.m.

    What about poor people? How are they supposed to pay this new bag tax? Are they supposed to make the choice of buying food or bags to carry that food home on the bus? Just like a wealthy politician to forget about the poor.

  • Bomar Roberts, ID
    Feb. 24, 2016 8:34 p.m.

    To Utah Think Box,

    What global warming? It's called weather. That is a liberal fraud to tax everything that moves and everything that doesn't move as well. As far as inversion goes it has been far worse here in the Salt Lake Valley in the past. You have a valley between two mountain ranges it traps everything between those ranges and only a nice wind will clean it out. Back when residents source of heating homes was coal and wood stoves the inversion was worse.

    As far as Jani's bill is concerned it is a burden on the poor. Regardless of the cost it doesn't affect the well off but has an adverse affect on the poor.

  • UtahEngineer Sandy, UT
    Feb. 24, 2016 8:12 p.m.

    Expend the effort... and the taxes...where it's most needed.

    "A 2015 law in California that banned plastic bags outright was repealed last November by referendum, but multiple cities across the state adopted their own ordinances imposing a 10-cent fee on plastic bags. Counties in Hawaii have instituted bans or taxes and the issue has been on the table in New York and New Jersey. Other countries, like Ireland, began assessing a fee on plastic bags in 2002 ."

    Cities located along the ocean and cities whose waterways empty into the oceans must have plans like this. These cities absolutely must be in the business of protecting the denizens of the sea from plastic, especially bags. Plastic bags are deadly to many fish and marine mammals, especially the young… and large turtles as well.

    The Great Salt Lake has no denizens that need protecting. The brine shrimp are expendable!

  • UtahEngineer Sandy, UT
    Feb. 24, 2016 6:16 p.m.

    SmBus said,
    "Have you thrown your plastic bag away today? Another liberal solution to a non-problem! If we wanted to be California or Hawaii we could move there. 940 million bags would mean the average Utahn throws away 313 bags per year."

    Good comment and thanks for doing the math!

    Here's some more math,

    If Utahns do use 940 million bags a year, this little tax would bring in the trivial sum of $94 million a year. That's a nice chunk of change!

    Why do these Legislators think nobody will notice such costs/impacts with their proposals as this?

    Here's an idea; Reengineer the plastic used in these and garbage bags to not get caught in the machinery. In other words, orient the plastic to rip easily in one direction so that machines can easily tear the plastic away from the garbage it contains... for recycling... and enable the machines to be self cleaning, to boot.

  • screenname Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 24, 2016 5:33 p.m.

    Baron Scarpia,

    You should probably stick to things you know about, and the cost of recycling vs throwing something away is not one of them.

    Who buys our baled "recyclable" goods in bulk, what processes do they use to recycle them, how much does it cost (to pockets and to the environment), and how much do we end up paying in order to feel good about doing our part for the environment? Do you know the answer to any of these questions?

    Here's a partial answer--the Chinese buy a huge chunk of our recyclables. They process it and ship it right back to sell to us. What nation is also accelerating its greenhouse gas production more than any other country? What nation doesn't have the EPA regulating industry? Why would it be cheaper to ship recyclables across the ocean and back?

    Recycling is prohibitively expensive and much more environmentally destructive than most would guess. Why do we do it? My guess it it's largely symbolic.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 24, 2016 5:04 p.m.

    The first time I saw one of these kinds of one-time plastic bags was in 1970 in Sweden, where they were invented several years earlier by Sten Gustaf Thulin. My first thought was, "These things are very handy but, being plastic and practically non-degradable, are going to be causing all sorts of environmental problems."

    Since that time the material has been refined so the degradation process is vastly accelerated when it's not recycled, something that is actually very easy to do. But, judging from the uproar by some, this is not enough.

    My solution is simply to collect them and, every few months, return them to the many recycle bins in supermarkets during my regular shopping excursions. It seems to be a win/win scenario. I retain the convenience and still facilitate recycling of the material.

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    Feb. 24, 2016 4:51 p.m.

    One day someone will invent a way to get energy out of garbage and plastic bags and land fills will be like oil fields.

  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    Feb. 24, 2016 4:43 p.m.

    Lots of attacks on liberal thinking here. Let's consider conservative thinking for a moment -- or how about conservative "non thinking."

    So here's a way to eliminate those convenient but pesky plastic bags that clog our landfills by charging for them. I keep hearing from conservatives that recycling is a waste of tax dollars and that charging for throw-away bags is a tax.

    And yet, dumping trash and plastic bags on prime real estate is their "cost effective alternative -- and guess what, our tax dollars pay for the landfills! Yes, someone has be pay for the municipal landfill real estate, and it is the tax payer -- often costing multi-millions of dollars, upfront!

    So here's the conservatives' "non thinking:" Dumping trash into landfills is more cost effective than recycling because our tax dollars pay for the landfills!

  • Happy Valley Hillbilly Alpine, UT
    Feb. 24, 2016 3:56 p.m.

    We occasionally shop at WINCO where you bag your own groceries with your choice of a paper grocery bag or a plastic one. The cost for each is factored into the store's cost of doing business. No need for a special "bag fee".

  • itsjustme Vernal, UT
    Feb. 24, 2016 3:51 p.m.

    If you wish to use a canvas shopping mag, more power to you. But please do not force me to pay an additional tax (yes, that is what it really is) when I go to the store.

    I reuse the bags that I get to hold the trash in the small trash cans in the house. Any I do not reuse for this purpose, or any other purpose, are taken back to the store where they are supposedly recycled.

    Please stop with all of this "education" or "for the children" talk. That is like banging on a drum that has seen it's useful life expire 20 years ago.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Feb. 24, 2016 3:17 p.m.

    But it's so beautiful to see ragged plastic bags flapping the breeze from trees and fences throughout the state. And nation, for that matter.

    The resistance to anything that might help solve the trashing of America is one more example of the Conservative Entitlement Mentality. "I want what I want because I want it and don't ask me to pay for it!"

  • TXAfghanVet Dallas, TX
    Feb. 24, 2016 3:00 p.m.

    Why is it that liberals always seem to think that they can make ideas that have failed elsewhere work for now. They tried this in Dallas and it resulted in lost revenue to retailers to the point where it was rescinded. Retailers will adhere at first and then when their customers start complaining, they'll find ways around it to the point that it becomes unenforceable.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 24, 2016 2:50 p.m.

    I like Harmons for this very reason. If you bring your own bag, they give you .05cents off. If you forget the bag, you can STILL get a plastic, or paper bag at no additional charge, but their policy DOES give you a little incentive to save on plastic bags.

    NO NEED to make plastic bags MANDATORY though!

    In England you MUST bring your own bag, (or buy one from them, 1.50 or so), but what I saw was people forgetting their bags, and they would just take their stuff to their car in their cart; which made for some "droppage", and glass breaking all over the parking lot.

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    Feb. 24, 2016 2:10 p.m.

    surely we can implement this and in the meantime, some entrepreneur can develop a fast decomposable?

  • Crusader Layton, UT
    Feb. 24, 2016 1:54 p.m.

    I hate seeing plastic bags on the side of the road, in the hills, blowing in the wind, etc.... Half life of 10,000 years?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Feb. 24, 2016 1:50 p.m.

    What is really funny is that pushing people to use reusable bags will make their health worse.

    Read "Eww, reusable grocery bags' germs can make you sick" in USAToday.

  • SmBus Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 24, 2016 1:32 p.m.

    Have you thrown your plastic bag away today? Another liberal solution to a non-problem! If we wanted to be California or Hawaii we could move there. 940 million bags would mean the average Utahian throws away 313 bags per year. That's one bag a day with taking Sunday off as a day for bag-rest! Fabricated numbers by liberals is just part of their game to control and take your money. There has never been a tax that a liberal did not want to 'educate' us over. Is this like the "re-education camps" following the Vietnam War? Oh, to be a liberal and know what is good for everyone so let's "educate" them. Next Sen. Iwamoto will want to 'educate' us about how we are filling up the land fills with plastic water bottles and newspapers. Does Donald Trump ring a bell with the good Senator?

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Feb. 24, 2016 1:30 p.m.

    Reusable bags are not without their problems.
    A cut of meat leaking juices into a cloth bag turn it into a Petri dish. Yum.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    Feb. 24, 2016 1:16 p.m.

    Of all the pressing problems and core functions of government that are poorly carried out...why are we even wasting time on this nonsense?

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    Feb. 24, 2016 1:15 p.m.

    Instead of griping about this, why not just simply purchase reusable canvas bags that you can take again and again? Decorate them at a RS activity.

  • Pig Frizzle Tremonton, UT
    Feb. 24, 2016 12:37 p.m.

    Sen. Jani Iwamoto, D-Holladay ... I don't think 10¢ is enough, I think it should be 25¢ or 30¢, maybe even 50¢! We need to social engineer those people into doing what is 'Right'! She also needs to put a rider on that bill, a new EBT card that pays for the bags because an EBT card is only for food, or a notation that those using an EBT card get the bags for free ... I'll keep thinking through this part.

    Sarcasm off ... Charging another tax, which is what our Governments love to do, does nothing more than take money from people who need it most. All of the past tax increases have been under the justifications of: For the children, or For the earth, or because we have not raised it in years.

    Get out of my pockets! I am tired of working to pay your 'Nickle & Dime' taxes everywhere I go.


  • Anthony Alpine, UT
    Feb. 24, 2016 12:10 p.m.

    Which is really better?? Our practice is to get our groceries in paper bags, which are more biodegradable than plastic bags. We then use those bags for garbage. Because of the law in CA, in our home there, we use reusable bags to get groceries, but at home we then have to use plastic can liners for garbage. So in CA, our garbage goes out in plastic bags, when previously it went to the landfill in paper bags. Which is really better for the landfill?

  • stuff Provo, UT
    Feb. 24, 2016 12:06 p.m.

    Socialism sticking its ugly head into our pockets, again!!

    Just like a liberal - find something they dislike and impose the cost of a non-resolution on society.

    If you want to educate society and change a little norm like this fine. But, do it on your own dime. Don't make all of society pay for your pet peeve.

    The problem is exaggerated than they make it sound, of course.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 24, 2016 11:48 a.m.

    When business people use government for laws that favor business they are acting in a most un-American way. Enhancing the predatory nature of business is not consistent with the notion of Equal Justice for All.

    Government should first be a protector of its citizens, and the greatest need for protection is from business. Even though government favors business, the number of regulations to protect the consumer far exceeds the number of laws and regulation for all other needs. And is still inadequate to prevent criminal businessmen from cheating the consumer.

    Business spends billions of dollars to find ways to cheat, would it be asking too much for them to find a better way to package and hold their product rather than just using the cheapest.

    I don’t think that Sen. Jani Iwamoto, D-Holladay or her bill is liberal.

  • utah think box SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 24, 2016 11:27 a.m.

    Why does talk about helping the environment become a liberal versus conservative issue. Lets all just pray that global warming and our inversion just go away. I'm sure that will work.

  • Bigger Bubba Herriman, UT
    Feb. 24, 2016 11:22 a.m.

    Typical Democrat approach: Fix problems with a tax.

  • oddman ,
    Feb. 24, 2016 10:29 a.m.

    While residing in Sweden we paid the equivilant of 15 cents for a plastic bag, but the bags were sturdier and we returned time and time again with our old bags because they lasted. While we learned to reuse our grocery bags, Sweden also required trash to be tied in one of those plastic bags when disposing of trash and garbage. Sort of neutralized the intent of eliminating plastic in the landfill.
    Typical thinking of the unthinking.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Feb. 24, 2016 10:01 a.m.

    Re: ". . . Iwamoto said something has to be done — and her bill is more about education than anything."

    Yeah, that's what passes for deep thought among liberals -- they run about bleating that something has to be done, but that something is almost always annoying, silly, counterproductive, and fails to address the real issue.

    Well, at least it IS educational -- we're all becoming educated on the danger liberalism poses to America.