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(SeattlePI)   Ban on plastic bags in Seattle causes less environmental pollution, more shoplifting   (seattlepi.com) divider line 74
    More: Fail, environmental pollution, Seattle, Fred Meyer, reusable bags  
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2587 clicks; posted to Business » on 02 Mar 2013 at 6:02 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-02 02:01:20 AM
imgs.xkcd.com

From TFA: Asking customers to check reusable bags at the counter would be burdensome to customers and staff, and prohibiting reusable bags and backpacks likely wouldn't work well in Seattle,

Those things would be true whether or not there was a bag ban in place. Shoplifters would still be coming in with reusable bags and stealing. It isn't like someone goes to the store with the intention of paying, but gets to the counter and realizes that there aren't any plastic bags so they might as well just leave with the food.

The handbasket thing, on the other hand, is a legitimate complaint.
 
2013-03-02 02:20:54 AM
Portland has a bag ban that has directly led to me throwing out cans. It's not worth the hassle to buy bags that I can take recyclables back in, so I now just throw them out.

Good work in the name of the environment.
 
2013-03-02 02:34:03 AM

davidphogan: Portland has a bag ban that has directly led to me throwing out cans. It's not worth the hassle to buy bags that I can take recyclables back in, so I now just throw them out.

Good work in the name of the environment.


Eugene's bag ban goes into effect this May.
 
2013-03-02 02:42:00 AM

Krieghund: [imgs.xkcd.com image 459x185]

From TFA: Asking customers to check reusable bags at the counter would be burdensome to customers and staff, and prohibiting reusable bags and backpacks likely wouldn't work well in Seattle,

Those things would be true whether or not there was a bag ban in place. Shoplifters would still be coming in with reusable bags and stealing. It isn't like someone goes to the store with the intention of paying, but gets to the counter and realizes that there aren't any plastic bags so they might as well just leave with the food.

The handbasket thing, on the other hand, is a legitimate complaint.


The ban on plastic bags means reusable bags go up in use, which means it's easier to steal.  You obviously haven't shoplifted.  If you're bringing in your own bag, it's easier to keep shiat in it that you don't pay for.
 
2013-03-02 02:49:38 AM

Bathia_Mapes: davidphogan: Portland has a bag ban that has directly led to me throwing out cans. It's not worth the hassle to buy bags that I can take recyclables back in, so I now just throw them out.

Good work in the name of the environment.

Eugene's bag ban goes into effect this May.


Enjoy buying more plastic garbage bags. It's yet another reason that the best thing Sam Adams did was guest starring on Portlandia and nothing legislative.
 
2013-03-02 03:02:00 AM

davidphogan: Portland has a bag ban that has directly led to me throwing out cans. It's not worth the hassle to buy bags that I can take recyclables back in, so I now just throw them out.

Good work in the name of the environment.


So the bag ban made you lazy? Damn, what a powerful piece of legislation!
 
2013-03-02 03:03:26 AM

davidphogan: Bathia_Mapes: davidphogan: Portland has a bag ban that has directly led to me throwing out cans. It's not worth the hassle to buy bags that I can take recyclables back in, so I now just throw them out.

Good work in the name of the environment.

Eugene's bag ban goes into effect this May.

Enjoy buying more plastic garbage bags. It's yet another reason that the best thing Sam Adams did was guest starring on Portlandia and nothing legislative.


Actually, that won't be necessary. I've got at least 6 canvas shopping bags, one of them big enough to hold a 24-pack of tp. On top of that I've got at least a dozen shopping bags made from recycled soft drink bottles, plus two granny carts.
 
2013-03-02 03:05:06 AM

m3000: So the bag ban made you lazy? Damn, what a powerful piece of legislation!


No, it made it not worth buying bags just to return cans.
 
2013-03-02 03:05:46 AM

Bathia_Mapes: Actually, that won't be necessary. I've got at least 6 canvas shopping bags, one of them big enough to hold a 24-pack of tp. On top of that I've got at least a dozen shopping bags made from recycled soft drink bottles, plus two granny carts.


So for trash you're just going to line your garbage cans with those and throw them out?
 
2013-03-02 03:15:53 AM

Lsherm: The ban on plastic bags means reusable bags go up in use, which means it's easier to steal. You obviously haven't shoplifted. If you're bringing in your own bag, it's easier to keep shiat in it that you don't pay for.


People who want to steal using reusable bags don't need a bag ban to do so.

You obviously haven't shoplifted

Not in years. Of course, we didn't have reusable bags back in my day. We dressed up in drag and used prosthetic bellies.

media.mtvne.com
 
2013-03-02 03:17:58 AM

davidphogan: Bathia_Mapes: Actually, that won't be necessary. I've got at least 6 canvas shopping bags, one of them big enough to hold a 24-pack of tp. On top of that I've got at least a dozen shopping bags made from recycled soft drink bottles, plus two granny carts.

So for trash you're just going to line your garbage cans with those and throw them out?


No, we'll continue to buy garbage bags for the kitchen garbage can, but the only trash that goes in there is stuff that can't be put down the garbage disposal. The waste baskets in our bedrooms, bathroom, living room & the one next to the computer desk will just be dumped into one of the dumpsters at the apartment complex where we live.
 
2013-03-02 03:21:24 AM

davidphogan: Portland has a bag ban that has directly led to me throwing out cans. It's not worth the hassle to buy bags that I can take recyclables back in, so I now just throw them out.

Good work in the name of the environment.


Good news! You can put them in your curbside recycling can!
 
2013-03-02 03:33:41 AM

Krieghund: davidphogan: Portland has a bag ban that has directly led to me throwing out cans. It's not worth the hassle to buy bags that I can take recyclables back in, so I now just throw them out.

Good work in the name of the environment.

Good news! You can put them in your curbside recycling can!


Then I have to deal with the bums dumping that shiat all over.  No thanks.
 
2013-03-02 03:46:43 AM
Plastic bags make great cat litter bags. I'm not sure what I would use to replace them. Buying thicker, bathroom sized trash bags?
 
2013-03-02 03:51:09 AM

Bathia_Mapes: davidphogan: Bathia_Mapes: Actually, that won't be necessary. I've got at least 6 canvas shopping bags, one of them big enough to hold a 24-pack of tp. On top of that I've got at least a dozen shopping bags made from recycled soft drink bottles, plus two granny carts.

So for trash you're just going to line your garbage cans with those and throw them out?

No, we'll continue to buy garbage bags for the kitchen garbage can, but the only trash that goes in there is stuff that can't be put down the garbage disposal. The waste baskets in our bedrooms, bathroom, living room & the one next to the computer desk will just be dumped into one of the dumpsters at the apartment complex where we live.


Well, I didn't have to buy any garbage bags.  I went with the "reduce, reuse, recycle" idea.  They made that a complete and total pain in the ass.  I can't reuse and I can't recycle, and they forced me into reduce.  So now I'm buying garbage bags I never needed, and I can't reuse the shiatty paper bags I get from Safeway/Fred Meyer now since they're usually torn up by the time I get home from the store, I've just gone with farkit.

I used to bother taking cans/bottles back for the measly $.05/can, but now it's just a pain in the ass.  Rather than deal with the mess made by bums who find a single can in my recycling bin then dump everything else on the sidewalk (which leads to getting a fine for not cleaning it up in time) I've found it's just easier to destroy the bar code and throw them in the trash.

Portland had a pretty good deal going when it was easy to return them, then recycle the plastic bags that I had returned them in.  Yeah, it was a pain in the ass that that Safeway machines wouldn't take back half the cans I tried bringing back, but for a few bucks it wasn't that big a deal to leave some on the floor so some bum could take the rest back to Walgreens or whatever, but they've added too many obstacles to actually caring anymore.  Maybe the deposit should have been raised, but banning plastic bags just led to me spending more money on bags, and way more inconvenience than returning them is worth anymore because Sam Adams was scared by a bag monster that the Surfrider Foundation paid for.

I did my part, but for $2 or $3 dollars per week it's just way easier to be an asshole than jump through all these hoops.  I'm already spending more for trash bags, what does returning a few cans really matter at this point?  They can take up the space from the food that I compost since my trash is now only picked up every other week.  I still recycle most stuff, but between sorting for composting and recycling I've freed up enough space in my trash it's just too much hassle to be worth recycling fifty or sixty cans (between myself and my roommates) a week.
 
2013-03-02 04:47:36 AM
I live in North Seattle, and it's just easier to grocery shop in Shoreline, where they don't have any silly bag bans. Yet.
 
2013-03-02 06:31:35 AM
last week people were pissed off because teh mayor in NYC wanted to ban styrofoam cups. this is supposed to be a positive step for the environment. today, people are pissed about banning plastic bags. sooner or later folks may have to realize there is many things we're destroying the world with and changing our ways may not be a terrible thing. i don't get it. i'm not a tree hugging hippie naturalist activist type, i'm a moran but even i can see the wisdom in eliminating wasteful items.
 
2013-03-02 07:14:26 AM
At a nickel a bag they're still cheaper then buying official garbage bags and bonus they double-duty as the transport of new goods before aiding in the containment of the used ones.  Come on environmentalists, we know you mean well but go pick on something more wasteful like disposable diapers.
 
2013-03-02 07:15:36 AM

WorldCitizen: Plastic bags make great cat litter bags. I'm not sure what I would use to replace them. Buying thicker, bathroom sized trash bags?


How?

do you have a very small litter box?

The grocery-sized shopping backs wouldn't even come close to fitting my cat's litter box.
 
2013-03-02 07:24:37 AM

Lsherm: Krieghund: [imgs.xkcd.com image 459x185]

From TFA: Asking customers to check reusable bags at the counter would be burdensome to customers and staff, and prohibiting reusable bags and backpacks likely wouldn't work well in Seattle,

[...]

The ban on plastic bags means reusable bags go up in use, which means it's easier to steal.  You obviously haven't shoplifted.  If you're bringing in your own bag, it's easier to keep shiat in it that you don't pay for.

Right, but there was nothing stoping people from bringing reusable bags BEFORE the ban. So why weren't they on to your genius scam already?
 
2013-03-02 07:33:12 AM

JMacPA: Lsherm: Krieghund: [imgs.xkcd.com image 459x185]

From TFA: Asking customers to check reusable bags at the counter would be burdensome to customers and staff, and prohibiting reusable bags and backpacks likely wouldn't work well in Seattle,
[...]

The ban on plastic bags means reusable bags go up in use, which means it's easier to steal.  You obviously haven't shoplifted.  If you're bringing in your own bag, it's easier to keep shiat in it that you don't pay for.

Right, but there was nothing stoping people from bringing reusable bags BEFORE the ban. So why weren't they on to your genius scam already?


When only a subset of your customers were carrying their own bags it was easier to pick out the ones that might be trying to hide things in it?
 
2013-03-02 07:52:26 AM
And yet, the water there is laced with persistent antidepressants.
 
2013-03-02 08:01:51 AM
And DUIs are up because Toyota sells more cars than GM.
 
2013-03-02 08:07:36 AM
I'll just throw this out as an idea.

If you go to a lane with a checker, the checker makes sure the bag is empty before loading it up.

If you go to self-checkout, you'll need to calibrate the scale first. If the bag is over a certain amount you'll have to wait for assistance.

So you might be able to steal something very light (like a greeting card) but not something heavier (like an apple).

I guess it sucks if you buy your produce at one store and then stop somewhere else to buy meat before returning home, but I've always been careful to not bring anything into a store that they sell. Not even a can of Coke that I might be drinking when I enter a store. It's never been a problem for me.

Shoplifting should probably carry stiffer penalties. It's simply not worth it to even try IMO.
 
2013-03-02 08:09:45 AM

davidphogan: Bathia_Mapes: davidphogan: Bathia_Mapes: Actually, that won't be necessary. I've got at least 6 canvas shopping bags, one of them big enough to hold a 24-pack of tp. On top of that I've got at least a dozen shopping bags made from recycled soft drink bottles, plus two granny carts.

So for trash you're just going to line your garbage cans with those and throw them out?

No, we'll continue to buy garbage bags for the kitchen garbage can, but the only trash that goes in there is stuff that can't be put down the garbage disposal. The waste baskets in our bedrooms, bathroom, living room & the one next to the computer desk will just be dumped into one of the dumpsters at the apartment complex where we live.

Well, I didn't have to buy any garbage bags.  I went with the "reduce, reuse, recycle" idea.  They made that a complete and total pain in the ass.  I can't reuse and I can't recycle, and they forced me into reduce.  So now I'm buying garbage bags I never needed, and I can't reuse the shiatty paper bags I get from Safeway/Fred Meyer now since they're usually torn up by the time I get home from the store, I've just gone with farkit.

I used to bother taking cans/bottles back for the measly $.05/can, but now it's just a pain in the ass.  Rather than deal with the mess made by bums who find a single can in my recycling bin then dump everything else on the sidewalk (which leads to getting a fine for not cleaning it up in time) I've found it's just easier to destroy the bar code and throw them in the trash.

Portland had a pretty good deal going when it was easy to return them, then recycle the plastic bags that I had returned them in.  Yeah, it was a pain in the ass that that Safeway machines wouldn't take back half the cans I tried bringing back, but for a few bucks it wasn't that big a deal to leave some on the floor so some bum could take the rest back to Walgreens or whatever, but they've added too many obstacles to actually caring anymore.  Maybe the deposit should h ...


Jeezus dude. I had you farkied as a favorite, but I can see that you are just a lazy, whiny, asshole. fark you man. No more favorite are you.
 
2013-03-02 08:10:34 AM
When a law is put into effect, figure out who's making money off it and you can blame them, because they likely pushed it through.
 
2013-03-02 08:18:56 AM
When they start searching every bag you can always resort to fake presents:
v017o.popscreen.com

(that episode's opening always cracks me up, bubbles high as a kite singing into the walkie talkie that's on the same channel as the store's announcements...hehehehe)
 
2013-03-02 08:21:08 AM

davidphogan: Krieghund: davidphogan: Portland has a bag ban that has directly led to me throwing out cans. It's not worth the hassle to buy bags that I can take recyclables back in, so I now just throw them out.

Good work in the name of the environment.

Good news! You can put them in your curbside recycling can!

Then I have to deal with the bums dumping that shiat all over.  No thanks.


Wow, what a lazy fark that can't be bothered to go two steps out of his way to recycle aluminum, probably the material that most benefits the environment when it is recycled and not manufactured from raw materials (which takes a shiatton of electricity).

Fines are for people like you.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-03-02 08:35:44 AM
There's bag ban talk in my area. No bag problem, but we have to follow all the progressive trends or we get kicked out of the cool cities club.

I hope they post armed guards to compare receipts to bag contents, because I don't live near Seattle and the Consumerist whining could be entertaining.
 
2013-03-02 08:50:11 AM
The health hazard talk about reusable bags is laughable.  How did people get their groceries home before plastic?  Paper bags?  Cardboard boxes?
 
2013-03-02 09:26:28 AM

ZAZ: There's bag ban talk in my area. No bag problem, but we have to follow all the progressive trends or we get kicked out of the cool cities club.


Which explains perfectly the recent bag ban in Austin about which all the local hippies are currently crowing. Nonconformists, my ass.

BumpInTheNight: (that episode's opening always cracks me up, bubbles high as a kite singing into the walkie talkie that's on the same channel as the store's announcements...hehehehe)


For some reason I always found it very amusing that he was singing commercial jingles.
 
2013-03-02 09:46:40 AM

StrikitRich: The health hazard talk about reusable bags is laughable.  How did people get their groceries home before plastic?  Paper bags?  Cardboard boxes?


People don't wash their reusable bags and they pick up something. Bringing them into the store now the bagger gets it as he handles the bag, and then passes it on.

Poster above asking about cat litter: the bags are used when removing clumps with a sieve. I go outside of Seattle enough to pick up plastic bags. That's cuz Tukwilla don't care.
 
2013-03-02 09:48:00 AM

StrikitRich: The health hazard talk about reusable bags is laughable.  How did people get their groceries home before plastic?  Paper bags?  Cardboard boxes?


I don't know. How did people get by before refrigeration and before that ice deliveries?

Hint: People got sick more often and since medicine wasn't as advanced they often died much younger.

Also, how did people get by before toilet paper? I know, Sears catalog, but before that? Corn cobs, but wasn't corn (maize) a new world crop? Imagine living in Europe - or almost anywhere before that.

Oh, that's right, in some parts of the world, they reserved the left hand for wiping and the right hand for eating and social interaction. Could be environmentally friendly though - they weren't cutting down trees to make toilet paper.
 
2013-03-02 11:35:55 AM
They enter the store with reusable bags and can more easily conceal items they steal. The reusable bags require staff to watch much more closely, and even though the store has a loss-prevention officer and more than a dozen security cameras, it's tough to tell what a customer has paid for and what they may already have brought with them.

No it isn't. You just have one of your loss prevention people approach them and ask to see a receipt.

/I'm sure some idiot would have a problem with this
 
2013-03-02 11:37:17 AM

davidphogan: Portland has a bag ban that has directly led to me throwing out cans. It's not worth the hassle to buy bags that I can take recyclables back in, so I now just throw them out.

Good work in the name of the environment.


You could just toss your cans into the recycle bin instead of going that far outside of your way to get rid of them.

/also used plastic bags for garbage needs
//very little changed with the ban
 
2013-03-02 11:39:05 AM

davidphogan: Bathia_Mapes: Actually, that won't be necessary. I've got at least 6 canvas shopping bags, one of them big enough to hold a 24-pack of tp. On top of that I've got at least a dozen shopping bags made from recycled soft drink bottles, plus two granny carts.

So for trash you're just going to line your garbage cans with those and throw them out?


My garbage can holds much larger bags than those dinky little things you used to get at grocery stores. I was buying bags anyway. Not much changed.

/still able to recycle everything I want to recycle as well, somehow
//oh wait, it's not 'somehow,' I'm just not lazy
 
2013-03-02 11:39:46 AM

davidphogan: Krieghund: davidphogan: Portland has a bag ban that has directly led to me throwing out cans. It's not worth the hassle to buy bags that I can take recyclables back in, so I now just throw them out.

Good work in the name of the environment.

Good news! You can put them in your curbside recycling can!

Then I have to deal with the bums dumping that shiat all over.  No thanks.


Sounds like you're just not cut out for city living. Have you tried Bumfark, Olympia yet?
 
2013-03-02 11:40:56 AM

KrispyKritter: last week people were pissed off because teh mayor in NYC wanted to ban styrofoam cups. this is supposed to be a positive step for the environment. today, people are pissed about banning plastic bags. sooner or later folks may have to realize there is many things we're destroying the world with and changing our ways may not be a terrible thing. i don't get it. i'm not a tree hugging hippie naturalist activist type, i'm a moran but even i can see the wisdom in eliminating wasteful items.


They're only mad because they can't be lazy anymore, and those complaints will quickly start to fall on deaf ears as more and more cities ban bags.
 
2013-03-02 11:54:13 AM

Spaced Lion: ZAZ: There's bag ban talk in my area. No bag problem, but we have to follow all the progressive trends or we get kicked out of the cool cities club.

Which explains perfectly the recent bag ban in Austin about which all the local hippies are currently crowing. Nonconformists, my ass.



Yep, just went in to effect yesterday. We have a entire cabinet full of disposable plastic bags left over from previous shopping trips. Were gonna just use those to have some fun pissing off local hipsters/hippies for a while.
 
2013-03-02 12:38:21 PM

Happy Hours: WorldCitizen: Plastic bags make great cat litter bags. I'm not sure what I would use to replace them. Buying thicker, bathroom sized trash bags?

How?

do you have a very small litter box?

The grocery-sized shopping backs wouldn't even come close to fitting my cat's litter box.


You scoop the poop into a plastic bag than throw it away. You don't use them to line the cat box. At least in my experience.
 
2013-03-02 01:23:58 PM
Giving consumers choices is bad. They may not make the choices that right-thinking Americans want them to make.
 
2013-03-02 02:06:31 PM
It's funny that the defenders trod out the usual memes to justify their silly environmental bans.  Whether or not the plastic bag ban is leading to higher shoplifting rates isn't the issue.  The issue is that store owners BELIEVE that the bag ban is causing it.  And at the end of the day, it's not good for anybody involved to lose a convenient, decent store over a silly, arbitrary ban on plastic bags.
 
2013-03-02 02:18:50 PM

justGreg: Giving consumers choices is bad. They may not make the choices that right-thinking Americans want them to make.


I believe Obama is a Marxist Kenyan National Socialist... is there a group that will value me for my baseless belief and willful ignorance?
 
2013-03-02 03:16:45 PM
I can understand the pathogen issue.  I let my reusable bags get a bit more funky than I should have let them before I washed them.  I now try to ask for meat to be bagged separately in plastic and I now wash my bags before they become a hazmat site.

The issue with shrinkage wasn't one that I would have expected, but thinking about it, I can see how people could hide items in a bundle of reusable bags.  I'm curious if it is an issue in Europe where it common in many countries to charge for bags?
 
2013-03-02 03:31:10 PM

Happy Hours: WorldCitizen: Plastic bags make great cat litter bags. I'm not sure what I would use to replace them. Buying thicker, bathroom sized trash bags?

How?

do you have a very small litter box?

The grocery-sized shopping backs wouldn't even come close to fitting my cat's litter box.


Wait, do you through out the entire cat box each time?  If you scoop it, you need a plastic bag.
 
2013-03-02 04:18:32 PM
I get the whole reason behind plastic bags being banned in some places, but it's also got me confused somewhat too. Auburn here doesn't have a ban, and the local Fred Meyer has a cubby-type thing at the front of the store that allows you to drop off old plastic bags for recycling into stuff like the Trex stuff for decking and whatnot.
 
2013-03-02 04:31:43 PM
Why not just recycle the plastic bags after use? Most of the places around me have large collection bins specifically for that purpose. It makes more sense that an outright ban... doesn't it?
 
2013-03-02 06:00:58 PM
FTA: "Mike Duke, who operates the Lake City Grocery Outlet with his wife, said that since the plastic-bag ban started last July, he's lost at least $5,000 in produce and between $3,000 and $4,000 in frozen food."

I worked at a grocery store in the bay area, and helped with inventory every three to six months. For eight months of business in a large city, I'd those numbers are only slightly above average. It's usually the alcohol that gets hit the worst. Stores also plan for these losses, and can deduct them from their taxes. (which are considerable) So don't blame the voters for your failure as a business man/woman.

Also that's about 1,500 a month, which is less than one $10 hour, 40 hour a week employee not including insurance.
They would loose more money by hiring a single security guard, and that's only for 8 hours a day 5 days a week. A grocery store would likely need at least three.

My heart weeps for the oppressed owner.

/Running my own retail shop as I type.
//yes I have plastic bags.
 
2013-03-02 07:10:02 PM
To summarize the thread: Ban on plastic bags in Seattle causes less environmental pollution, morewhining.
 
2013-03-02 07:12:54 PM
Every time I see a self check out I think of Bill Burr
 
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