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Grocery bags

Original post made by Kaye, The Knolls, on Jun 22, 2012

Clerk at RiteAid this morning told me that beginning July 1 they would be charging for bags if you do not bring your own.
I said I thought that went into affect Jan 1 and she said no, she got a notice from Alameda County to begin July 1.
Anyone else hear this???

Comments (35)

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Posted by Melanie
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Jun 22, 2012 at 3:01 pm

I'm totally going to be the type that will go to specific store to save 50 cents on toilet paper but then end up paying them 50 cents to bag up my purchases because I forgot my stupid cloth bag at home!

Now I have to buy even more plastic bags for the bathroom, the cat litter and the dog walks. I will use more energy when I have to wash my cloth bags when the milk and raw chicken leaks in them...ewww!

Does anyone know what is supposed to happen to the 10 cents per bag (or whatever it costs)? I hope it's worth it.

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Posted by Curious
a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 22, 2012 at 3:28 pm

@ Melanie - where do you buy your milk and chicken? I want to avoid that store since they appear to have some issues with their product packaging. I've never had milk or poultry leak in my reusable bags. Did you also know they make vinyl coated reusable bags that can be wiped clean in case there is one of those mysterious milk leaks.

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Posted by Day
a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Jun 22, 2012 at 11:58 pm

I'm totally with you Melanie. I have been hanging on and hoarding plastic grocery bags for the last two months for all the reasons you mentioned. I know the law is well intentioned, but I too will now just have to buy the plastic bags that are probably made in china. I still need plastic bags for kitty litter and dog waste and wet garbage, I'm just now going to have to buy them because you can't use paper or reusable for do many things.

A note to Curious...... My daughter works as a grocery checker in thevtri valley and she sometimes gets handed really stinky and filthy reusable bags by customers. She even had one lady give her a bag with maggots in it. Sorry, but I don't want this filth anywhere near where food my family and pets will consume. I hear from her what sort of pigs there are out there who wont bother cleaning their bags even though they can as you pointed out and she works at a higher end store.

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Posted by MrsJJJ
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jun 23, 2012 at 12:40 pm

I respect the right of other people to be as dirty as they choose - as long as their hygiene issues don't affect me. Unfortunately, it's very likely that their filthy bags will be filled by being placed put on the checkout stand - exactly where my bag of groceries is going to be put later. Yuck.

For similar reasons, I avoid checkout operators who lick their fingers to open bags and I object to children riding in the food section of the cart. I've even seen dogs in carts! (Yes, I did alert store associates.)

Still, plastic supermarket carts are often dirty to start with and we've little choice but to use those. And the plastic bag ban is an easy, virtually cost-free way for politicians to promote the myth that they actually care about the environment. So it's inevitable. So I guess I'll learn to live with any bag-related hygiene horror. As Stanley Hollway used to say in one of his superb monologues: "What can't be helped must be endured!"

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Posted by MrsJJJ
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jun 23, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Oh and with reference to the earlier comments about shopping for meat.......

I shop in lots of different stores. And in my experience, wherever one buys it, meat packed on trays almost always leaks. That's why meat counters usually have rolls of plastic bags available for customers' use.

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Posted by Near and Far
a resident of The Knolls
on Jun 24, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Nice try, Steve

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Posted by Pleasantonian
a resident of Mission Park
on Jun 25, 2012 at 8:22 am

Pleasantonian is a registered user.

I'm curious as to how they will regulate this in the self-service areas of grocery stores.

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Posted by Flocking Loons
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2012 at 8:27 am

The number of food-born illnesses is going to skyrocket once this reusable bag measure goes into effect. Another stupid measure enacted by left-wing loons. When are we going to stand up to these loons who are trying to dictate every aspect of our lives? I am counting the days until we move from this stupid, wacko, left-wing loon state.

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Posted by to Loon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2012 at 8:42 am

To Loon,
've used reusable bags for 5 years and have never had a food borne illness.
Sounds like you need to quit drinking the right wing koolaid !

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Posted by Debbie
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 25, 2012 at 8:44 am

I have a solution, small as it may be, but give your plastic bags to drafters who cut the bags up and knit or driver with it, making hats and bags to go to the beach or grocery store. It's now called Plarn, plastic yarn. It's a great way forever the plastic bags instead of putting them in our land full unnecessarily. Just a thought. It takes about 200 bags to make a grocery bag that's washable and durable.

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Posted by Debbie
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 25, 2012 at 8:45 am

Correction..... crafters not drafters.

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Posted by R.Tomson
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2012 at 10:05 am

R.Tomson is a registered user.

The "Grocery Bag Charge" requirement is being imposed upon retailers by the county. The county in turn was feeling pressure from the Clean Water folks. The measure to charge people per bag was proposed about 8 months ago. The proposal stated that the intent of the measure was to prevent trash (plastic bags and paper bags) from being dumped on the ground and eventually working their way to the water treatment systems and into the Bay. The first target is the plastic bag. The county staff analysis concluded that if people were charged a penalty fee for using a plastic bag that the effect would be to reduce the number of plastic bags used.

The county adopted the measure over the objections of the public and the retailers, with one notable exception, Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart supported the measure here, for reasons unknown. I've read that Wal-Mart did not support the measure in other areas.

The penalty fee is 10 cents per bag. This fee is a specific required charge to the customer. A retailer is not allowed give away free bags or pay the fee on behalf of the customer or include or hide the fee in pricing or otherwise obscure the fee from the customer. The retailer is allowed to keep the fee (or they could donate it to the county or some other organization). The county will monitor retailers for compliance. A compliance grace period will be observed before non-compliance penalties will be applied.

In my opinion this is another typical government wrong headed approach to addressing a specific issue. The issue is what to do about the trash that some people throw on the ground. I agree this is an issue. The resolution is to go after the source of the problem, unless you are a government entity, in which case you go after the group least likely to resist. Then you pat yourself on the back all proud and say, 'See, I did something to fix this problem. Let that be a lesson to all of those bad people.'.

Bottom line is this. To the county, cities and other self-serving government entities, if you don't want discarded grocery bags working their way into the water system, then enforce current common sense regulations and go after the people throwing the bags on the ground. Problem solved. It may not be easy but it addresses the specific issue with the people causing the problem. And it doesn't punish All the people to address the actions of Some of the people.

If on the other hand, it is your hidden agenda to eliminate plastic bags all together in order to meet your personal view of right/wrong/oil/trees/blue sky or whatever, then make the proposal and present your arguments to ban plastic bags entirely. If your argument is sound and the people agree, then your goal will be achieved.

Since the county and their staff felt that addressing the people causing the problem was not a goal they wanted to achieve, nor put any effort into, and since business would most likely object to and could actively resist an effort to ban the plastic bag entirely, a simpler solution was required. The obvious government simpleton thought process is; 1) The least likely group to present an organized effective legal challenge is the people; 2) Implement a social engineering strategy to change plastic bag usage habits and preferences; 3) Impose a monetary fine upon plastic bag usage in support of the social engineering goal; 4) Allow business to keep the fees collected (at least temporarily) in order to prevent their objection and resistance to the strategy. It’s a win-win they say! 'We change people's habits and we neutralize any objection from the business community'.

This is definitely the result of the Government, for the Government, by the Government. The people fit into the equation only as 'economic support' for the government regulators.

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Posted by Garbage collector
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2012 at 11:31 am

I'm hoarding my paper bags. TJ's are so good and strong, they have many uses...but when sufficiently worn, ultimately end up as my perfect-fit newspaper collector and on to my recycle can.

I'm also hoarding my plastic bags for all my unmentionables.....on their way to the garbage can. I also save bags for my friend whose spouse is an invalid in diapers, and she uses them daily...on their way to garbage.
I see all sides...nice if others could see all sides, and not make us criminals, when we are efficient savers/users to the end.

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Posted by Lee
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2012 at 11:33 am

Wow, I thought I was the only one that had strong feelings about this plastic bag stuff...OK, not!

I use cotton bags when possible, wash them in the machine. I collect plastic bags to re-use for carting stuff home, then wash whatever was in the plastic bags. Fruits and veges are the main item, easily washed.

I don't want to pay 10 cents a bag for plastic, then have the stores keep the money! If anyone else has a better solution, let's hear it!

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Posted by Garbage collector
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2012 at 11:43 am

Debbie, there are 'plenty' of uses for plastic bags...finding uses is not the problem, getting bags to use.... will be.

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Posted by bag o bits
a resident of Stoneridge
on Jun 25, 2012 at 1:27 pm

A recent study funded by the Environment and Plastic Industry Council, a committee of the Canadian Plastics Industry Association looked at the risks of contamination of tote bags from food that is left to incubate from previous shopping trips. "The moist, dark, warm interior of a folded reusable bag that has acquired a small amount of water and a trace of food contamination is an ideal incubator for bacteria," stated the report. Of particular concern was a high level of bacteria, yeast, mold and coliform counts which can indicate that other organisms of fecal origin may be present.

So what is the solution? Designate specific bags that will be used for shopping. Researchers suggest that meat should be double packed in a first-use bag to prevent the drippings from meats leaking into the bag. These bags should be discarded and not reused for storing other food items. Bags should be routinely laundered and dried by turning them inside out and suspended to properly air them out.

Saving the environment is a noble endeavor and should not be discontinued out of fear. However, we don't want to risk the health of our families by contaminating the foods we bring home from the market. Just by taking a few extra minutes to establish good practices at home will leave both the environment and ourselves safer and healthier.

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Posted by dirt bags
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 25, 2012 at 1:32 pm

from a recent newspaper article:

Reusable grocery bags found to be full of bacteria


Reusable bags found to be dirty

A reminder to shoppers who use reusable grocery bags: Don't forget to wash them after you've emptied them.

Nearly every bag examined for bacteria by researchers at the University of Arizona and Loma Linda University found whopping amounts of bugs. Coliform bacteria, suggesting raw-meat or uncooked-food contamination, was in half of the bags, and E. coli was found in 12 percent of the bags.

Running the bags through a washer or cleaning them by hand reduced bacteria levels to almost nothing, the study reported, but nearly all shoppers questioned said they do not regularly, if ever, wash their reusable bags. About a third said they also used their food-shopping bags to haul around non-food items.

The study was funded by the American Chemistry Council amid debate over a California bill that would ban single-use plastic bags. The council is opposed to that measure.

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Posted by Christine M
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 25, 2012 at 3:09 pm

So Melanie-you drive extra to save 50 of crap paper-how much gas are you using then?

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Posted by Tango
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Jun 25, 2012 at 3:30 pm

I am going a different direction. I am going to buy two or three very colorful plastic beach tubs. I have seen just what I am looking for a target. I will shop with the tubs in my cart. Everything but meats will go in the big tub and all meats will go in the small tub. I may add the third for produce . Each will be a different color Red for Meat, green for produce and blue for everything else. They can then be washed out and no problem with illness.
You all realize that we are making our own massive epidemic by trying to be to clean and germ free.

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Posted by Melanie
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Jun 25, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Ohhh Christine M. since you are so intrigued by my shopping and driving habits rather than the real questions like what happens with the money earned on the sales of plastic bags, the amount of new plastic bags the public will be buying for trash liners and other household uses or the health of the food in the cloth/reusable bags well then here I can give you the rundown:

I said that I would go to a SPECIFIC store to save, however I did not say I would "drive extra". You live downtown you should know that Kottinger is well within driving distance to a ton of places to shop. I will admit that I will not shop at the Ghetto-Mart...errr I mean smells, it's dirty, cramped, no service and I hate their policies toward most employees. Barring that though, within 4 whole miles of my house are 2 Targets as well way too many grocery and drug stores to sit here and count for you.

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Posted by Erwin
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 25, 2012 at 5:00 pm

I probably would not remember to take bags with me each trip. Therefore I will be paying the 10 cents per bag. Then I can use those bags for lots of things. It will just be an extra dollar or so I spend each week. Sure not gonna break me.

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Posted by Scott Walsh
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 25, 2012 at 5:14 pm

I don't need the government now into plastic bags. San Ramon, here I come to shop.

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Posted by Garbage collector
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Isn't it amazing America got past our 200th BD without little tin meddlers deciding what kind of shopping bags to use.

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Posted by Lulu
a resident of Castlewood
on Jun 25, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Only in Pleasanton would people moan and groan about plastic bags. They've had this policy in Europe since the '90s and they seem to be getting along just fine. You people would complain if Safeway was giving away free chickens, "Ohhh, I don't like Foster Farms chickens, blah blah blah."

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Posted by member
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 25, 2012 at 7:19 pm

It was refreshing to read R. Tomson's comment. Finally, someone with a rational, logical understanding of our government speaks up.

thank you

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Posted by Day
a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Jun 25, 2012 at 8:17 pm

I'm not kidding when I tell you my daughter, who is a checker at a local grocery store has been handed bags from a customer containing living maggots. She also us often given filthy stinky bags with "juices" in the bottom that leak out. She's had to leave her register a few times just to go wash her hands from touching the filth she's been handed. It also has meant her having to clear her belts and scanner while customers wait for her to clean and disinfect them. I don't want this near my food and I know most checkers aren't OCD about this like my daughter.

The ten cents should NOT go to the grocery stores and I hope we all pressure them to donate the money to a food bank.

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Posted by Bob
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 26, 2012 at 6:41 am

For me the solution is simple. I will start shopping in Dublin come January 1st. I'll just go on my way home from work. I re-use the plastic bags, as well as the paper bags. The paper bags are used to line the extra can I now have to have for organic matter. Imposed by the city or the garbage company (not sure who). For that and the extra blue can my garbage bill went up. If they think I'll now spend even more to purchase paper bags to line up that extra garbage can they are very mistaken.

If Dublin starts the no bags orinance also, I will just stop separating the compost food. I am sick and tired of being ripped off!

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Posted by Dan
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jun 26, 2012 at 10:12 am

Let's see if I have this right:

Plastic bags that cost the stores $.02,(maybe), in which the stores rolled said $.02 into the cost of goods sold, now sell for $.10 separately?

The std. margin on the bag is .10-.02/.10= 80% not including the prior increase of the cost of goods sold.

Essentially, the local government just took $.10 out of our pocket, and gave the grocery stores an $.08 profit for which THEY DID NOTHING TO EARN IT.


And we all sit back and debate the various bag strategies and health benefits...?


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Posted by Melanie
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Jun 26, 2012 at 10:40 am

Dan I agree, my first post I was mostly making fun of the paying for bags or having to wash reusable ones...those are things I will deal with of course they aren't a big deal in the grand scheme… just funny to me. I asked where the money for the sale of the bag went, which was really where I was concerned. The ordinance I read said the retailer has to charge 10 cents MINIMUM for each plastic or paper bag, so it is a sale with a huge markup for the retailer and I would think we will pay tax on the bag purchase as well...which is going to government.

The sale of the bags should be mandated to go to a real program/organization that does something protect or fix the environment.

Look out Scott Walsh if you drive somewhere to go shopping Christine M. will get on you for using gas!

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Posted by Just adding different pollution
a resident of Mohr Park
on Jun 26, 2012 at 11:03 am

I understand that using 'reusable' bags is a good thing. I just see now a whole different addition to pollution (or like Day said a major bacterial epidemic). Some of my bags can't easily be washed with soap and water - so wiped out with bleach wipes and sprayed with Lysol - which I'm sure adds to the pollution (everything does). So now comes the question - I have a "reusible" bag that is getting so worn it has holes and rips in I shove it in the garbage and off to the landfill it goes. Anyone have any idea as to the decomposition rate of "reusible" bags to the plastic?

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Posted by bags
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 26, 2012 at 11:09 am

the oxymoron of the year.
you buy produce and put it in a plastic bag, the meat is wrapped in plastic and then you put it in a plastic bag, you buy fish and they wrap it and put it in a plastic bag,
and now they want to charge you 10 cents to take all the stuff home in a, you guessed it, plastic bag.
so how are we saving the environment?

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Posted by bagger
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 26, 2012 at 11:18 am

R. Tomson, excellent post! Thorough, concise and right on the mark.

Lulu, if you're pointing to Europe as a model we should follow, you need to get on the next plane there and reacquant yourself with how most of the euro countries are circling the drain.

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Parkside
on Jun 26, 2012 at 12:00 pm

"This is definitely the result of the Government, for the Government, by the Government. The people fit into the equation only as 'economic support' for the government regulators."

True. So true. And unions to. This is how the govt class gets rich while the rest of us in Pleasanton are forced to eat grooel and read about Obama and the other socialist liberal loons not being able to do anything accept when there doing something which is when there being tyranists.

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Posted by european socialist
a resident of another community
on Jun 27, 2012 at 8:35 am

stop feeding grewel to the Tyrannosaurus... ..and the trolls.....

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Parkside
on Jun 27, 2012 at 11:33 am

I spoke with many neighbors and they told me that the trolls on here are bought and paid for by the Obama propogandaizers organizations. There taking our tax money and paying trolling loons to make fun of how most of us on here think. Write a letter to your congressman and tell him your fed up to here. Also write a letter to his Holiness, our Supreme Heavenly Leader in Washington DC and let him know that he should stop being a tyrant and do something. Another 4 years of this? Were doomed.

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