Imposing a charge to use biodegradable bags one step too far

I was among those who supported getting rid of plastic bags but not the one step too far. Imposing a charge on the use of biodegradable paper bags is that one step too far. When I shop, I expect the products I buy will be packaged for me to carry home. The cost of these bags is factored in as a cost of doing business. They have historically been free to the shopper at the time of purchase.

Along comes the new law, requiring merchants to charge for bags, 10 cents each, more than they cost without ads printed on them. I personally will not pay to carry ads, if I must pay; I want a plain brown paper bag. Also, I believe it is unconstitutional for government to tell private business owners what to charge for anything. In the case of Obamacare, the Supreme Court ruled that forcing someone to buy a product was a tax, so in Solana Beach new taxes or tax increases must be voted on.

Believe it or not, the goal is not to allow the use of any paper or plastic bags in the near future. I hear our legislature plans to require reusable fabric bags or baskets as done in Europe where women often do the shopping daily. This elderly (87 years old) lady doesn’t have time to shop every day, now, or when I was young and had five children. Cloth bags use lots of energy as they should be laundered after each use to prevent the growth or transfer of bacteria. Ask your spouse if they have time for that.

One last thought, as you know the trees cut for paper bags are grown for that purpose. They are not old growth. The bags are made providing jobs and are more biodegradable than dollar bills, and in some ways more useful. The Solana Beach City Council will hold a public hearing soon, watch for it and if you want all the facts, make it a point to be there.

If you are wondering why I care, it’s because I was involved for years trying to protect the town from the uncaring County of San Diego and for us to have home rule. Our incorporation as a city has been very successful, so I hope we don’t let ourselves be ruled by fiat and be too lazy to be involved. I hope to see you at the public hearing even if you don’t agree with me.

Celine A. Olson

Solana Beach