Tuesday, September 30, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Bob Dunning: Plastic bag problem? I don’t see it

BobDunning2W

By
From page A2 | January 30, 2013 |

In a town that bills itself as the first pro-choice city in America, I’m still trying to get my arms around the movement to deny grocery shoppers the simple choice between carrying their food and other goods home in plastic bags, paper bags, cloth bags or their bare hands.

If you don’t like plastic bags, don’t use them. If you don’t like paper bags, don’t use them. And if you don’t like cloth bags, don’t use them. Request your bag of choice at the store or take your bag of choice to the store. Problem solved.

In discussing this issue with those who wish to ban all choices but their own, I’ve been told that plastic bags blowing in the wind are a huge problem in Davis. The only way they can become a problem, of course, is if someone sets a plastic bag free where it can catch the wind. So it’s really a human problem more than a bag problem.

No one seems to claim that we have great numbers of large brown paper grocery bags flying around town, but folks want to ban them as well, for reasons that have yet to become clear.

Maybe these people all own stock in companies that make reusable cloth bags where salmonella can mingle with your salmon or E. coli can cozy up to your broc. coli.

But hey, I’m big on choice. If a cloth bag causes you no concern, go for it. Just don’t make me use one of those gooey, gummy germ incubators that needs to be washed twice a day just to be safe.

The next thing you know, they’ll ban driving your car to the grocery store and make you carry everything home in your bicycle basket.

If you complain that you really need to take the car because you’re buying for 12 kids, they’ll tell you that’s a lifestyle choice you should have considered before you had those 12 kids.

The urge to control everyone else’s behavior is a strong one in the City of All Things Right and Relevant. Ban plastic bags. Ban cigarettes. Ban cozy fires on Christmas Eve. Ban the Easter Bunny. Ban Republicans.

Just for the record, I don’t use plastic bags. That’s my choice. Whatever your choice is, that’s fine with me.

Still, trying to be fair about all this, and in a determined effort to appreciate the position of those who wish to ban plastic bags, I went on an extensive walking tour of Davis streets to assess for myself just how serious this bag-blowing-in-the-wind problem truly is.

I did this over a period of two weeks in the late fall, before those pesky, bicycle-riding UC Davis students left town for winter break. I walked three or four miles a day, probably 50 or 60 miles in all.

I walked along East Eighth, West Covell, A Street, B Street, Anderson Road and Oeste (rhymes with “toasty”) Drive. I traversed the Bird Streets, the Private University Streets, the Citrus Streets, the Fruit Streets, the Nut Streets, the Water Streets, the National Park Streets, the Tree Streets, the Telescope Street, the Catholic Saint Streets, the Misspelled Iowa College Street, the Unpronounceable French Artist Streets and the Streets Named after Developers’ Daughters. Hey, I even walked down Clara Lane.

I may have missed a few, but not many.

And while I plan to publish the results of my research in one of those peer-reviewed academic journals just as soon as I can find a peer who also walked 50 or 60 miles, I’ll give you a sample of what I found.

In all those miles on all those days, I found only one unattended plastic bag on the streets of Davis. It was sitting in a gutter on the north side of town but wasn’t going anywhere because it was pinned to the ground by what appeared to be a tuna fish sandwich.

I’m assuming some first-grader was examining his lunch on the way to school and was upset that mom or dad had not packed him peanut-butter-and-jelly instead. I realize there’s some age and gender stereotyping going on here, but anyone who has a first-grader will agree I’m probably right in my assumptions.

I did find four Snickers wrappers, two empty bags of nacho-flavored Doritos, an apple core, three banana peels, one whole banana, assorted chicken bones, an ice cream cup and crushed red plastic spoon from Dairy Queen, half a pomegranate and one copy of The Davis Enterprise opened to Page 2, with a large dusty boot print directly across the handsome forehead of the Above-Pictured Columnist.

I’m thinking it may be about time to ban boots.

— Reach Bob Dunning at bdunning@davisenterprise.net

Comments

comments

.

News

Man on a mission: transform Davis

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Poppenga outlines ambitious agenda

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Cool Davis Festival is très chill

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Sanity phase begins in Daniel Marsh trial

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

Council looks at granny-flat revision

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

 
Find the perfect club or organization to join

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C2 | Gallery

Brown allows new local development financing tools

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
California becomes first state to ban plastic bags

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Standing In: Is the therapy for them, or me?

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A2

 
California exhausts initial firefighting budget

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Forum examines Props. 1 and 2 on November ballot

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Register to vote by Oct. 20

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Assembly candidates will be at Woodland forum

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Pets of the week

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

California approves landmark ‘yes means yes’ law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
TSA bomb training may be noisy

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Try out basic yoga on Thursday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
DCC welcomes students with free lunch

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Gibson House hosts plant sale and garden event

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Fraud Awareness Fair set Oct. 15 in West Sac

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

UCD, University College Dublin will cooperate on food, health

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Accessibility technology on exhibit at fair

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Covell Gardens breakfast benefits Komen Foundation

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Put your hoes down and celebrate the harvest

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Panelists discuss raising children with special needs

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Number of wheels: How many bicycles do you have in your household?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C5 | Gallery

DCC hosts fair-trade gift sale on Oct. 11

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Downtown history tour planned in October

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Emerson gives away old textbooks

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Woodland PD seeks volunteers for ViP program

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
DMTC makes musical theater accessible to everyone

By Bev Sykes | From Page: C9 | Gallery

Take home a wreath from Davis Flower Arrangers’ meeting

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
Snapshot: A night out with the neighbors

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C10

Davis school names reflect interesting history

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: C12

 
Snapshot: Plenty of places to park it

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C14

Snapshot: Dive into Davis fun

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C15

 
Snapshot: Kick garbage to the curb

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C16

Snapshot: Sounds like a party

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C17

 
.

Forum

It takes two to lambada

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
He seems happy at home

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

Marsh case shows need for ‘Maupin’s Law’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
The great bedtime conspiracy

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

They’re best-prepared to lead

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Vibrant and hard-working

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

 
Archer has the right stuff

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Get on your bikes to meet Davis’ greenhouse gas goals

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
.

Sports

‘Playoff game’ or missed chance? Either way the Aggies move on

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Devils move atop league standings with win

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Only 15 months out of UCD, Runas off to LPGA Tour

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Davis golfers get teaching moments in forfeit win

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Two Junior Blue Devil squads emerge victorious

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

 
.

Features

.

Arts

I-House film series continues with ‘Monsieur Lazhar’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
‘Art Farm’ exhibition will open in Woodland

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Pleasant Valley Boys cool down Picnic in the Park

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Acclaimed guitarist Peppino D’Agostino to play The Palms

By Landon Christensen | From Page: A9

 
Woodland artist hosts event at her new studio

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

.

Business

.

Obituaries

Danelle Evelyn Watson

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Michael Allen Hanks Baxter

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Anne Elizabeth Elbrecht

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Tuesday, September 30, 2014 (set 1)

By Creator | From Page: B5

 
Comics: Tuesday, September 30, 2014 (set 2)

By Creator | From Page: B7