Three Words You Won’t Hear in Solana Beach: “Paper or Plastic?”

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Guest Commentary
by Brian Brady

Forget Fenway Park’s left-field fence; the real Green Monster is the Solana Beach City Council. The Council has all of its ducks lined up for a full-court environmental press to ban the use of plastic bags in the City:

The ordinance, reads a notice from the City, is “intended to reduce the distribution and use of single use plastic bags from all Solana Beach retail establishments, local events and other organizations issuing these bags for consumer use at the point of sale and encourage a local shift toward the use of reusable bags.”

Reusable bags?  You mean the lead-laced baby killers Jon Fleischman exposed, some two years ago, when LA County banned plastic bags on unincorporated areas?  Fleischman dug up a letter from Anthony Weiner’s godfather, which damns the reusable bags:

Several recent reports show that a significant number of reusable shopping bags contained over 100 parts per million (PPM) in heavy metals. In some cases, bags contained as many as 5 times the allowable limits. The paint on lead-filled bags has the ability to peal and flake off, coming into direct contact with exposed groceries, like fruits and vegetables. Exposure to high levels of lead can damage the nervous and immune systems and impair kidney function over time.  When disposed of in landfills, these bags can leak toxins into the soil and water and have the potential to create even more environmental problems.

Even Fleischman’s old boss, who authorized para-police teams to arrogate private property from desert rats, realized that starving the desert-dwellers, by driving up food prices with a plastic bag ban, was going a bit too far.  LA County Supe Antonovich laid out the freedom argument, which should be made to The Solana Beach Green Monster, too:

We need a more engaged and educated citizenry to protect our environment, instead of draconian decision making.  Educating our constituents on recycling and the harm of illegally disposing their plastic bags will go a lot further to ensure that these bags don’t end up on our beaches, and in our rivers, parks, and landfills.   Telling residents and business owners what bags they can use, cannot use, and how much they will be charged for a bag is not good government — it is Big Brother at its worst.

Amen, Mike.  The Solana Beach Council knows that plastic bags are fully recyclable because the American Chemistry Council laid the issue out for it, five months ago.  The ACC is probably considered to be an association of “evil plastic bag manufacturers” so I have little confidence that the Green Monster will heed its advice.

What’s the big deal anyway?  Why can’t the City impose this ban on the Solana Beach Farmers Market and at the Fiesta del Sol?  It can (although the ban may have the unintended consequences of killing babies with lead poisoning) but when The Green Monster starts meddling in the private affairs, between its citizens and its grocers, I have to put my foot down.  The simple fact is that ban drives costs up for consumers and hurts the poorest among us worst.  Certainly, exemptions can be made for “mom-and-pop” taco joints, liquor stores, and delicatessans but then this would be an all-out assault on the customers of the two grocery stores in the City.

Throwing plastic bags in the ocean or on our City’s streets is littering and should be punishable to the fullest extent of the law.  Forcing law-abiding citizens to cart their food with a more expensive or potentially life-threatening product is just wrong.  Consumers are already moving towards more environmentally friendly choices for food transport.  It’s not the government’s job, to micro-manage the local economy, in its quest of a political “feel good” moment.

You have two choices Solanans: (1) let the Green Monster know that you can plan your own shopping experience by THIS SATURDAY, March 17th or (2) start drop-shipping plastic bags into your home.

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Brian Brady is a small business owner who lives in Solana Beach.  He is a director for Stop Taxing Us, the taxpayer advocacy and tea party group.  There, he crafted the “Promise to California taxpayers,” a no new tax pledge candidates make.  He is a candidate for SDGOP Central Committee.


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