Mar 5th, 2013, Chico City Council meeting: The debate on paper or plastic bags continues, however it looks like a ban on plastic grocery bags is very likely. The City Attorney has been tasked to draft an ordinance for council’s review and this could be the final step before a council vote.
The proposed ban will require grocery stores to keep records on their bag purchases, but the time limit for keeping record has not been determined. It could range between 3 months and 3 years. The records will allow a city employee to cite a non-compliance store. The cost of using paper bags will be passed to the consumer, if the ordinance is approved.
The consensus of council members (5 to 2) seemed to think reusable canvas bags would be ideal for consumers, even though a citizen addressing the council produced a San Francisco study that indicated the use dirty canvass bags created a potential for food born illnesses (such as sow manilla) and could have health consequences on grocery personnel. The speaker (Sue Hubbard) said the grocery clerks may have an issue with these reusable (dirty) bags. Councilman Randall Stone snidely asked the citizens, “They (store workers) don’t have a problem taking dirty money do they?”
Councilman Scott Gruendl said he thinks this is a great opportunity for some entrepreneur to invent a device that alerts the user when the reusable bag is becoming dirty and needs to be washed.
In fairness, we should note Councilman Stone’s snide comment was due in part because he’s very young and inexperienced and anything he has to say should be taken in that context. Stone, a far left liberal, was elected to council with the help of a highly organized and long standing group of activists and union supporters. He defeated several highly qualified conservative candidates with extensive public and private experience in the last election. And as for Councilman Gruendl’s idea, well, we wish him much luck on that one.