Jan 3 - It’s An Easy Fix: Bring Your Own Bags

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Bag ban opponents, take notice. CAW’s Executive Director, Mark Murray, has plenty to say when it comes to supporting bag bans.

Murray, a Davis resident, recently wrote an editorial in response to an opinion piece in the Davis Enterprise that slammed the practice of banning bags.

"Bringing your own bag to the store is not about being 'holier than thou'; it’s mostly about common sense and saving money," Murray wrote, in opposition to a single-use bag that is used only for a few minutes but has an unbelievably long lifespan of 500 years or more.

Murray pointed out that grocery bags "are not free. Davis retailers spend more than $465,000 annually to provide the so called 'free bags.' They cover this cost by raising the price of groceries for all of us."

Even more surprising—the cost of bags after they’ve been thrown away in landfills. Yes, they’re still a nuisance even then, thanks to their aerodynamic capabilities. Yolo County Landfill (see picture), and others across the state, have put up fences to capture the bags from escaping into neighboring lands and properties, and spend thousands of dollars in labor to chase after them. According to the article, Yolo County spends $50,000 each year for staff to do this job, while Redwood Landfill in Novato spends upwards of $125,000.

Read the entire piece in the Davis Enterprise.

Late last year, the Davis Natural Resources Commission discussed a single-use bag ordinance for the City of Davis. If passed, it would be the first in the Sacramento area to have a bag ban. Murray attended the meeting and spoke in support, recommending the current bag ordinances around the state that ban single-use plastic bags, while allowing single-use recycled paper bags at-cost.

"This is about economic fairness," concluded Murray. "If you’re not in the habit of bringing your own bag, this policy is going to cost you the actual cost of providing the bag. (I wouldn’t ask you to subsidize the cost of my bread, bananas and beer, so I hope you would not expect me to subsidize the cost of the bags you need.)"

Take action by writing to the Natural Resources Commission about the Davis bag ordinance. Take action on other local ordinances here, and see the list of local ordinances passed here.