We were disappointed to see some 80+ cities and counties in CA adopted the ban and fee without good verifiable facts. They were just following the Pied Piper match. It took citizens' effort to gather signatures to put repeal initiatives on ballots. We were encouraged by some successes:
In Durango, CO, Kirsten Smith of No Durango Bag Tax successfully repealed the bag tax with 56% to 44% votes in November'13.
In Homer, Alaska, in October'13 Voters voted down the bag ban passed in 2012 with approximate 54% to 44% votes.
In Issaquah, WA, Craig Keller of Save Our Choice after a long fight managed to put the repeal bag ban initiative on 2/2014 ballots. We were sad and disheartened that the repeal effort failed with 52% vs 48% votes (3595 "Yes" (to repeal) to 3945 "No"). Yet we were consoled that the margin was that close; almost 50/50, with only 39% voters turn-out.
We were comforted again that there were folks in Huntington Beach (CA), Walnut Creek (CA) and other parts of WA State who started gathering signatures to put repeal bag bans on ballots.
(In April 2015, Huntingon Beach voted 6-1 in repealing bag ban. And 2 councilmembers who voted for the ban got thrown out.)
The ban and bag fees are totally feel-good eco-fads. They do not help our environment. Instead they hurt our environment by aggravating global warming. And they hurt businesses and consumers. They only benefit the green consultants who are busy selling their "green" expertise and collecting their sweet "green" consulting fees. And they benefits the "environmental" non-profits and ensuring them funds that keep them busy and hiring. Go to my 8/2013 blog: To Read and To Watch for more articles and videos on why plastic bag ban hurts the environment.
The bag bans and fees has turned off so many people; almost half of the general public. So, besides the necessities shopping for food and household items, many of us stop shopping. In my neighborhood, I counted 3 stores closed; Trutti Frutti, Pearl Gallery, La Paz. In downtown S.F, recently I counted these closed; Dress Barn, Loehman, Loft (Ann Taylor Loft), H&M Men, H2O. And in S.F Mall, White House|Black Market is closing; moving out of S.F. to Palo Alto.
Other adverse effects I have seem are:
- it turned off many good citizens who for the longest time voluntarily cooperated in recycling. These days, I found lots of paper, bottles, cans, cartons in black bins. Instead of leaving them in the blue bins outside, my neighbors opened the door to the stuffy garbage room and dump them in the trash bins.
- I used to donate small amounts to environmental non-profits. I am so turned off now that I no longer support them. I support conservative organizations which respect our liberty and are business-friendly.
- I was so annoyed with our Councilmembers / Supervisors for denying us a chance to vote. They sealed our fate with the votes of a handful of them. I can no longer respect them.
- more stores reported theft, for the owners can no longer tell if they were paid or not.