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View Diary: Banning the Plastic Bag in San Francisco (107 comments)

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  •  In response to your points (10+ / 0-)

    I have never heard anyone doing the first one, although that is a possibility, I guess. It is difficult to legislate behavior like that.

    As for the second thing; then its their fault then. If you put your groceries in a filthy and dirty bag, then whose fault is it but yours if you get sick? I'm not pointing at you, that was merely a hypothetical statement. Obviously, we can't force people to wash their bags; but on the other hand, if people get sick because of dirty bags, you can hardly blame proponents of the ban because there is a simple remedy.

    •  What if we get sick because (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MNPundit, sandbox, Nulwee

      of somebody else's dirty bags?  I gave the example of the cockroaches.  Cockroaches are highly visible and disgusting little bugs (probably cute to their moms, though), but there are other types of vermin and transmittable organism that are being handled by the bag boy.  If the guy just before me has something like salmonella or e. coli in his bag, and the bag boy goes straight from his bag to mine, it seems reasonable to wonder just how sanitary the whole process is for everybody else, not just for the guy who owned the dirty bag.

      AND... even if you were to accept the premise that the only person getting sick is the person who owns the dirty bag...  Why is that a good social policy?  We have a new policy under which more people will get sick than before, but it will be their own fault for being such dirty people, so it's okay?  There's a puritanical self-righteous undertone to such thinking.

      •  Like I said before (8+ / 0-)

        You make completely accurate points and I'm not arguing that you are wrong here. I'm saying that it is not the government's job to hand-hold people through every aspect of their lives. This ordinance is an environmental and waste management policy. Increased potential for disease is an unfortunate side-effect that should be managed, through education. But that in no way should be the reason for not enacting such laws! That's like refusing to allow pedestrian cross-walks for fear that someone might be run over.

        As for your other point. I can't fathom how disease can transfer from one bag to another over the counter top unless their bag is so dirty that it is soaked through and has layers of grime and juices on the bottom... in that case, I think the person should be asked kindly to get a new bag. But that is an extreme hypothetical.

        •  Step 1. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AdamR510, Samer

          In the previous visit to the store (and it only takes one) raw meat is carried, the juices of which transfer to the plastic lining.

          Step 2. Bacteria grow.  

          Step 3. The shopper returns to the store with the bag, now laden with bacteria.

          Step 4. Bag boy carefully packs the eggs at the bottom, meat in the middle, bread at the top, sticking his hands in there to do it right, as they all do.

          Step 5.  Not washing his hands and going on to the next customer (you or me), he picks up the next package of eggs and puts them in the bottom of my bag, my meat in the middle, my bread on top.  

          Step 6.  I go home and get sick with E. coli.

          If you're going to do things this way, then maybe mandatory hand sanitizer should be required between baggings.  Or we just learn to live with the slight risk.  Or we just repeal the law and pass a new one that makes free paper disposable bags mandatory.

          •  Raw meat? Not in my cloth bags. Vegetarian. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jason Hackman, cosette, Dube, Oh Mary Oh

            ...And I wash my cloth bags and sun dry them on nice days. Plastic bags ARE bad.

          •  Give it a rest already. (11+ / 0-)

            You don't know where the bag boys' hands have been. He could have been mopping up a spill in aisle 10 and then rearranging his package on his way to the checkout lines for all you know.

            If dirty bags are your fear then it is incumbent upon you to pay extra close attention to the people in line in front of you. Have the cashier wipe down the conveyor before you check out and ask to examine the bag boy's hands before he handles your meat...

            •  Well, that's true, he could have just (0+ / 0-)

              been scratching his jock-itchy balls.

              I don't think I have to accept this, though.  You're imposing an extra obligation on people just taking care of daily business and it's rather authoritarian.  

              I understand your motives are good ones, but they would be equally good if they were voluntary.  Nobody's stopping you from using a reusable bag.  I'd rather see the bag law in my town repealed, though, even if it meant voting for somebody who wasn't environmentally conscious, because it really, really pisses me off, every time I have to stand in line at the store.

              •  You don't have to accept it (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                But you do have to live with it. I never wanted to pay for Iraq, yet here we are... You can vote or call for civic action (which is my favorite, but not always the most effective), move, or pay a couple dimes for a nice, sanitary, compostable/recyclable paper bag. You still have options left.

              •  Wow, no offense but (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                where4art, FoundingFatherDAR

                I think this is an issue you need to deal with yourself, and forcing everyone to abide by your cleanliness rules seems a lot more authoritarian to me.

                Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

                by kimoconnor on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 07:52:58 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Your whole argument is unfounded. (0+ / 0-)

                You cite one (1) piece of hearsay evidence. In other words, a casual anecdote.

                Data is not the plural of anecdote -- and you don't even have enough for a plural.

                With no reliable evidence brought forward, the entire thread has been composed of various contributors trying to grapple with your speculations. You'll have to do better than that.

                "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

                by sagesource on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 03:58:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  what meat counter sells raw meat completely (8+ / 0-)

            unwrapped!?! at the very least you get butcher-paper completely wrapped around and taped closed! at least at the 4+ real meat counters I shop at!

            I mean, what, you have medieval meat cutters hacking up whole sides of beef where you shop? do they take the hide off before they start?

            If people are too STOOPID to keep their re-usable bags clean, that isn't the fault of the bags!

            "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

            by chimene on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 12:10:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  There's always leakage with shrink-wrapped (0+ / 0-)

              meat from the meat counter.  If meat bothers you, then imagine leaky ice cream or something of the like.  The diary author already acknowledges the bags themselves pose a health risk if they aren't regularly cleaned, so that's not an issue in contention.

            •  Butcher paper, if it's the coated type (0+ / 0-)

              generally used to wrap meat, cannot be recycled.

              I use cloth bags, but always wrap anything potentially leaky in one of the plastic bags before it goes into the cloth. I sure don't want my unwrapped produce coming in contact with the outside of a meat package.

      •  You are positing an extreme case (9+ / 0-)

        If someone's bag is so dirty that their bag is crawling with multiple roaches, then their home must be infested too, in which case their clothes and other personal effects probably are too.   I'm sure stores have to deal with such situations occasionally, whatever the bag policy might be.

      •  I've used the same sturdy canvas tote (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sfbob, kimoconnor, where4art, Eric K

        bags for 30 years.  They are dry as a bone.  They've never been washed.  Each one has a few plastic bags in them that we wash and reuse.

        If you're going to worry about food safety, consider slaughterhouses, produce processing sheds, etc.  That's where the real food contamination problems originate.

        Next in line would be food prep protocols. Adequate rinsing of produce is a must.  Clean knives and cutting boards a must.  Proper washing of all utensils is a must.  Washing of hands a must.  Proper storage temperatures.  Length of time fresh food is stored.  Do you follow all these recommended procedures?

        Your scenario is far fetched.  Downright hilarious, I'd say.

    •  String shopping bags (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koNko, FoundingFatherDAR

      Easy to have around when going out, for just in case purchases and are washable.

    •  Are people eating directly out of the bags? (0+ / 0-)

      When I buy produce, I put it in a plastic bag (if it's not already wrapped) before it goes into a larger canvas or heavy plastic grocery bag.   And most of the veggies get cooked.  

      My Karma just ran over your Dogma

      by FoundingFatherDAR on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 05:18:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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