More Unintentional Hilarity over Plastic Bag Ban in San Clemente

The Orange County Register carried this story in their online edition today about the debate over a possible ban on plastic shopping bags in San Clemente.  The story prominently featured Jim Bieber doing what we call  in the PR professional a litle FUD — for “Fear” “Uncertainty” and “Doubt” showing off three apples he left in a reusbale shopping bag, which had some sort of meat byproduct in it, to “ferment” in his car for an undetermined amount of time. 

The Apples were exhibit A, B. and C as being toxic due to contamination, and–you can’t make this up–Bieber told the city council: “There are 63,000 people in this city,” he told the council. “At one point, at one time, they’re going to mix up these bags. They’re not going to wash them with bleach. They’re going to put some produce in there, and some kid is going to eat it. On a million-dollar bet, I would not eat one of these apples.”

Now I do most of the shopping and cooking for my family.  When you buy meat products at the store, they are wrapped in plastic and wrapped again in butcher paper, or if selected from the meat case, a second bag is availbale for use if a shopper wants it due to a leaky hamburger package.  Apples are also collected in a plastic bag and usually tied off with a twist wire.  Even if you place both the meat and the apples in the same bag, when you get home, the apples are washed and put away  for later consumption; I always wash the meat and package it as the water not only cleans the meat but accelerates the freezing process, unless I’m cooking the meat that night. 

Now the story doesn’t say how long Bieber left the groceries in his car to ferment, but I have to wonder: Does Bieber usually leave meat and fruit in his car for several hours?  Does anyone?  Did his ice cream melt? And what about the dairy products? Most people on a grocery store run, come right home afterwards to put the stuff away, unless you live where it gets cold in the winter and your car can act as a fridge.

The San Clemente city council isn’t buying Bieber’s argument either.  Nor is city staff.  From the Register story:

The City Council didn’t ask city staff to respond to Bieber’s concerns. But after the meeting, Tom Bonigut, assistant city engineer and staff liaison to the Coastal Advisory Committee, told the Register that the local resident’s dramatic show was based on a 2010, University of Arizona/Loma Linda University study later criticized by Consumer Reports. The magazine cited what it called a small sample size – 84 reusable bags – and said the study only found bacteria that cause disease in people with weak immune systems.

Still, the magazine reported, “it’s easy to spread bacteria from meat, fish or poultry to other foods – in your kitchen or in your grocery bags. So we do think it’s wise to carry those items in disposable bags. Reusable bags are fine for most everything else, but it’s a good idea to wash them occasionally.”

With the City Council’s selection of priorities, Bonigut said “we don’t have direction to pursue (the plastic-bag ordinance), and we’re not going to until we at some point get some other direction from council.”

Peter Salgado, a member of the Coastal Advisory Committee, urged the council Wednesday to do like Laguna Beach and Dana Point and enact a plastic-bag ban, which he called “a single step in changing how we think.

“It is this change in thinking that has resulted in stricter emissions standards, better air quality,” he said. “It’s this change in thinking that has led to banning Styrofoam. It’s this change in thinking that has led to banning smoking on our beaches.”

But I sympathize with Bieber.  I have to wonder if he’s representing a client that makes and sells plastic bags to retailers, because if he is, he should have disclosed that. 

Now I’ll tell you what.  Using only plastic bags Bieber is advocating for, I’ll buy a egg salad sandwich from the local 7/11 and leave it on my car’s dashboard for eight or nine hours while I drive down to Tijuana for a full bottle of that fine Mexican water, place it in the same plastic bag and make it back to the surfside of San Clemente in time to trade those toxic apples with Bieber for my egg salad sandwich and Tijuana tap; we’ll wolf it down and see who lasts longer….

For the record, reusable bags — like the ones I take to the Farmer’s Market every weekend — are perfectly fine and do require a little wash every now and then; the best practice is to treat them like laundry and wash after using each time.

Some research on reusable bags reveals these facts:

Experts estimate that 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed and discarded annually worldwide—more than a million per minute.

Here are a few facts about plastic bags to help demonstrate the value of reusable bags—to consumers and the environment:

    • Plastic bags aren’t biodegradable. They actually go through a process called photodegradation—breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic particles that contaminate both soil and water, and end up entering the food chain when animals accidentally ingest them.
  • According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than 380 billion plastic bags are used in the United States every year. Of those, approximately 100 billion are plastic shopping bags, which cost retailers about $4 billion annually.
  • According to various estimates, Taiwan consumes 20 billion plastic bags annually (900 per person), Japan consumes 300 billion bags each year (300 per person), and Australia consumes 6.9 billion plastic bags annually (326 per person).
  • Hundreds of thousands of whales, dolphins, sea turtles and other marine mammals die every year after eating discarded plastic bags they mistake for food.
  • Discarded plastic bags have become so common in Africa they have spawned a cottage industry. People there collect the bags and use them to weave hats, bags and other goods. According to the BBC, one such group routinely collects 30,000 bags every month.
  • Plastic bags as litter have even become commonplace in Antarctica and other remote areas. According to David Barnes, a marine scientist with the British Antarctic Survey, plastic bags have gone from being rare in the late 1980s and early 1990s to being almost everywhere in Antarctica.

Some governments have recognized the severity of the problem and are taking action to help combat it.

  18 comments for “More Unintentional Hilarity over Plastic Bag Ban in San Clemente

  1. February 16, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    How about we bring back paper bags? Oh, wait….one of my favorite stores still usesvthem. That’s why I do most of my shopping at Trader Joe’s. And, For those trips to the market, I also have various cold, hot, lukewarm reuseable bags and they rarely get washed unless something spills in them.

    Do you really wash your meat before putting it away?

  2. Phil
    February 16, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    How about re-using cardboard boxes like Costco does? That way no one buys new bags, paper or plastic.

  3. Jim Bieber
    February 17, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Dan –
    You are a funny guy and I bet that you are dying for an opportunity to prove me wrong about the real potential of deadly cross contamination of food using “reusable cloth or woven plastic bags.”

    Here is the answer to your cliff hanger question –
    The document that was handed out at the council meeting detailed a time line documented with photos –
    3 packets of meat (chicken, pork, and beef) were purchased Sunday, February 12th at 6:00 p.m. from the Albertsons on Pico Ave in San Clemente . The meat was placed into a “resuable” bag. The packages were punctured and the liquids (blood and other fluids from the meats) were allowed to leak into the bag.
    The bag was placed in the trunk of my car. As recommended by advocates (you just carry them around in your car) Within three days you could smell the stink of bacteria. On Wednesday night, before I left my home to the council meeting I took the organic apples from my home and placed them into the bag that was in my trunk. The same time as it would take from driving home from a grocery story.
    The public does not share your, shall we say your anal-retentive hyper cleanliness regarding “reusable bags.” In fact only 3% of the people surveyed ever wash their reusable bags let along after each and every time to the grocery story. I know of no one who washes their meat before they put it in the freezer. That is truly hilarious.

    If you were married and shopped with your spouse you at one time would hear or say these words – “it leaked.” That’s reality, that’s real life – I yell at my son to help bring in the groceries he does end of the “process.” I do not know if he would detect what “leaked” into the a reusable bag before putting it away.
    I will be repeating this process several times that reflects real life family shopping scenarios and not your hyper Howard Hughes germaphobe lifestyle.
    I will make a wager with you. I will repeat the same process of putting an unwashed bag into my car. We can meet up at the next hearing and you can reach into the bag at eat one of the organic apples that was transported. If within one week you do not get sick I will spend a weekend at the next scheduled beach clean-up looking for and picking up shopping bags. Most likely I will get a chance to be by your hospital bedside as you utter “I regret I only had one life to give in trying to impose my environmental practices on others.”

    • February 17, 2012 at 2:29 pm

      Jim —
      Allow me to retort:

      The document that was handed out at the council meeting detailed a time line documented with photos –
      3 packets of meat (chicken, pork, and beef) were purchased Sunday, February 12th at 6:00 p.m. from the Albertsons on Pico Ave in San Clemente . The meat was placed into a “resuable” bag. The packages were punctured and the liquids (blood and other fluids from the meats) were allowed to leak into the bag.
      ***so you sabotaged the packaging deliberately and knew it but did not wash the bag? Fishy*****

      The bag was placed in the trunk of my car. ***when my bags are clean, that’s where I put them****

      As recommended by advocates (you just carry them around in your car) Within three days you could smell the stink of bacteria. On Wednesday night, before I left my home to the council meeting I took the organic apples from my home and placed them into the bag that was in my trunk. The same time as it would take from driving home from a grocery story. **If you could smell the stink of the bacteria, why would you place the apples in there to begin with? Would you put a dirty diaper on a baby too?*****
      The public does not share your, shall we say your anal-retentive hyper cleanliness regarding “reusable bags.” In fact only 3% of the people surveyed ever wash their reusable bags let along after each and every time to the grocery story. *** there’s plenty of literature available about keeping bags clean**** I know of no one who washes their meat before they put it in the freezer. That is truly hilarious. ***Not so fast; I grew up in a farming community in Upstate NY and we grew our own vegatables and raised our own beef, chicken, and pork; when freshly butchered meat came back from the butcher, we washed the meat to make sure it was clean and the water on the meat accelerates the freezing process; my wife worked at a grocery store in New York State while we were in college and they washed meat too; we washed produce pretty well too. And when we washed freshly laid eggs from the chickens, the water was used to water the herb gardens and they thrived.****

      If you were married ***I am; 29 years!***and shopped with your spouse you at one time would hear or say these words – “it leaked.” **Yep, but it’s usually milk*** That’s reality, that’s real life – I yell at my son to help bring in the groceries he does end of the “process.” I do not know if he would detect what “leaked” into the a reusable bag before putting it away.***don’t you check? wouldn’t the dripping wet mess be a clue?****
      I will be repeating this process several times that reflects real life family shopping scenarios and not your hyper Howard Hughes germaphobe lifestyle. ***haven’t been sick in abut four years****
      I will make a wager with you. I will repeat the same process of putting an unwashed bag into my car. We can meet up at the next hearing and you can reach into the bag at eat one of the organic apples that was transported. **as long as I can wipe it up first; sure**** If within one week you do not get sick I will spend a weekend at the next scheduled beach clean-up looking for and picking up shopping bags.***while wearing an Obama shirt**** Most likely I will get a chance to be by your hospital bedside as you utter “I regret I only had one life to give in trying to impose my environmental practices on others.” ***you underestimate the power of the American digestive track****

  4. Jim Bieber
    February 17, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    You are incorrect about the “power” of the digestive track. Two examples – your BS makes my stomach turn. And Google “Timeline: Deaths and Illnesses Caused by Food Contamination” Or “Lawsuits from Cross Contamination.”

    You said this – “The San Clemente city council isn’t buying Bieber’s argument either. Nor is city staff. From the Register story:”
    But here is what the OC Register article went on to say –
    – The council didn’t respond to Bieber, other than Mayor Jim Evert remarking, “I do not want one of those apples.” But when the four council members present selected each one’s five highest priorities, the plastic-bag ordinance drew just one vote of a possible 20. Topping the list with three votes each were construction of sidewalks along streets that need them, rehabilitation of a restroom beside the San Clemente Pier and rehabilitation of the Ole Hanson Beach Club Pool

    By cutting that part out of your hilarious commentary what false impression did you give to your loyal readers?

    • February 17, 2012 at 3:57 pm

      Jim —
      So the mayor said he didn’t want an apple and you’re counting that as a response?! Clearly , with one vote of 20, the council has given your protest the priority it deserves.

      What’s next? Are you going to urinate in the water supply and complain of a yellow hue? The fact of the matter is you manufactured a situation to create an outcome. Since it’s clear you don’t use reusable bags, this is how it generally works. When removing grocery items and you discover a leak, you wash the bag. Your argument seems to be “let people wear dirty clothes because they don’t have the common sense to wash them.”

      Lastly — do you have a client who has a vested interest in defeating a ban on plastic bags? if you do, you ought to disclose it. If you don’t, well, there are many more things that will cause illness and death in San Clemente compared with banning plastic bags.

      Now about that egg salad……

  5. Jim Bieber
    February 17, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Dan-
    Ahhh you are kidding right? Re read the story. When the council was prioritizing what they wanted to tackle the plastic ban issue ONLY GOT ONE VOTE OUT OF 20 meaning it was not a priority issue for them to spend city resources on –
    “The council didn’t respond to Bieber, other than Mayor Jim Evert remarking, “I do not want one of those apples.” But when the four council members present selected each one’s five highest priorities, the plastic-bag ordinance drew just one vote of a possible 20. Topping the list with three votes each were construction of sidewalks along streets that need them, rehabilitation of a restroom beside the San Clemente Pier and rehabilitation of the Ole Hanson Beach Club Pool.”
    This was a victory for common sense and conservatives and a setback for those seeking to take away the option of plastic shopping bags. How else do you read it? You described yourself as a PR Professional in your hilarious article. What does a “one vote out of 20” mean?

    • February 17, 2012 at 5:19 pm

      Jim —
      You know the story about the boy who cried “wolf.” Just because banning plastic bags doesn’t make the top priorities of the city council doesn’t make it a win for you — it means your city has more important things to do first.

      That aside, you rigged a test and then appeal for common sense? You placed apples in a bag that you freely admit smelled to high heaven. Tell me Jim; do you put fresh gym clothes in a gym bag you when you discovered you left your smelly gym clothes in from the day before? The fact is no one with common sense is going to put fresh fruit in a bag that reeks to high heaven. You did. We both work in PR, but I tend to work in the real world instead of one where you manufacture a crisis as you did. And you call *yourself* a PR professional?

  6. Jim Bieber
    February 17, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Oh Dan,

    I am such a fan of common sense. Speaking of manucatured crisis. Can you tell me the number of plastic bags that were found on SC beaches and in the ocean of my city on any give year. Any number? An estimate based on some thing.

    Manufactured? You cited bag statisitcs in Africa. You are asking gov to address a problem. HOW MANY BAGS are we talking about? And ask far as “testing.” what experiment or test wasn’t ‘rigged’ to force or see an outcome? The stink started coming from my trunk on the second day. Would the bag be safe to put produce into it say within 2 hours of being in a trunk if there were just one or two drops of blood an ounce that you coudln’t see? Here’s some common sense for you. If you don’t want to contract some sexually transmitted desease have your sex partner who you are unfililar with put a condom on. If you excuse the pun, not getting AIDS or some other STD is”prety f*cking simple.” and yet tell me how much we spend on educating people on ‘safe sex.’ How much should we spend on educating people to wash their reusable bags each and every time they use them? Maybe you can score that gig from the county to address a new crisis for people who don’t have your common sense. My common sense tells me to use plastic shopping bags for 4 -5 differnt uses before they go off to be recyled. Oh yeah again – give me a bag count, bags found in SC beaches. Its a crisis you know. Guess estimate on some research. You must have it at your finger tipes or its one google search away as you told me the bag useage in Taiwan.

    • February 18, 2012 at 8:14 pm

      Jim,

      As a person living with HIV Disease for about 25 years I have to take issue with your comparison. The consequence of HIV infection or other STD’s cannot be compared to the consequence of cross contamination of food. HIV and STD Prevention education can save the taxpayers billions of dollars in uncompensated medical costs. THat is a proven fact.

      While you think that not getting AIDS of an STD is so f*cking simple, then why is it that since we have virtually ceased substantive HIV prevention education in California that the HIV infection rate is on the rise again?

      The plastic bag ban is for grocery bags, not the plastic bags you put meat and produce in at the market. if used properly there is little danger of cross contamination of food.

      A condom only works if used properly. If you poke holes in it to allow stuff to leak out, then it doesn’t work so well.

      • Jim Bieber
        February 19, 2012 at 11:44 am

        “if used properly…” That is the whole point. Color coated bags? There are over seven laundries in this affluent town where people wash their cloths. Do you think the people who use the them can match Dan’s schedule of washing shopping bags immediately after every use? As far as puncturing the meat to get it to leak. It happens all the time, eggs break, milk etc, how much leakage is needed to develop deadly bacteria in a bag that hasn’t been washed and sat in a hot trunk. Does it have to smell to be deadly? Does it have to be visible to the eye? I will ask you since Dan just won’t answer – how many plastic bags were found at SC Beaches at any given year? I can tell you the number of plastic straw found at the beach. Tell me the scope of the problem – HOW MANY BAGS ARE WE TALKING ABOUT?

        My stinky smelly nephew who is 20 and baths infrequently drags his laundry home on the weekend every once in a while to get them washed. His car stinks. So if you don’t care about his health, during cold and flu season, how do you feel about him flopping down his stinky reusable bags into a shopping cart? How do we instill “common sense” into him – he is an honors student?

        • Dan Chmielewski
          February 19, 2012 at 6:37 pm

          Jim —
          Thanks for the insight into your life and that of your family. I generally take the weekend off to do things with my family, but wanted you to know I purchased a new canvas shopping bag at the Great Park Farmer’s Market today. I checked it after removing the produce that is produced through sustainable farming efforts and noted no leaks of any kind, so I folded the bag and put it back in my car for future use. I advocate reusable shopping bags made of canvas as they are strong, have great handles and launder well. And when you do get a leak, the material soaks it up in the bag itself.

          Yo answer your question about the number of plastic bags on your stretch of beach, I do not have a number…but cigarette butts nonwithstanding, I going to guess your beach isn’t as pristine as you say it is. Cigarette butts are actually a much bigger problem.

          Since I’m all about stats, here’s some reports to read Jim about the harmful impact of plastic bags in coastal areas and to coastal marine life.

          http://act.oceanconservancy.org/pdf/Marine_Debris_2011_Report_OC.pdf

          http://sites.healthebay.org/dwab/2010/plasticbags.asp

          http://www.plasticdebris.org/CA_Action_Plan_2006.pdf

          http://www.ars.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles/ad_hoc/19000000SHE/Plastic_Bags.pdf

          From the Heal the Bay report Jim —

          During a three-hour cleanup on International Coastal Cleanup Day in 2008 plastic bags ranked second in top debris items found on beaches, lakes and streams, accounting for 1.4 million bags total.

          We cannot recycle our way out of this problem: most plastic products are not economically viable to recycle. There is a lack of available domestic plastic bag recycling markets. In fact, the majority of plastic bags that are recovered to be recycled are sold to foreign markets including China.

          Less than 5% of plastic bags distributed in California are currently recycled. Despite legislation to expand statewide recycling programs for plastic bags at grocery stores, evidence shows that these laws have not had a significant impact on recycling rates or led to greater use of reusable bags.******In Los Angeles County, over 90% of the bags collected in municipalities surveyed ended up being shipped to a landfill rather than recycled, due to contamination from food or pet waste, and their tendency to jam recycling machinery.******

          Plastic bags don’t biodegrade. Instead, they break down into smaller and smaller pieces of plastic when exposed to sunlight and water, but never truly go away. Discarded plastic bags are so prevalent in our environment that in a catch basin cleanup of along the Los Angeles River it was found that plastic film and bags comprised 43% percent of all trash collected. In the San Francisco Bay, volunteers collected 15,000 plastic bags in just one three-hour period during 2008 Coastal Cleanup Day.

          Inland and urban areas in particular are the most blighted by plastic bags as these white tumbleweeds collect along roads, alleys, and trees. Many of these areas are densely populated and tend to be low-income areas.

          Plastic bags (which resemble jelly fish in the water) or pieces of plastic bags can easily be mistaken for food or prey by seabirds, marine mammals, fish, and sea turtles. Littered plastic items harm hundreds of wildlife species, some of which are threatened or endangered species. A 1997 study found that at least 267 species have been affected by ingestion of or entanglement in marine debris worldwide. Currently, 86% of all sea turtle species, 44% of all seabird species, and 43% of all marine mammal species, have had reported problems of entanglement or ingestion of marine debris. Plastic bags were the most common plastic item found in the digestive tract of 408 leatherback sea turtles according to a 2009 study that reviewed historical necropsies.

          The typical plastic grocery bag is manufactured from polyethylene, a byproduct of petroleum and natural gas – both nonrenewable resources that create more greenhouse gases and increase our dependency on foreign oil. The energy used to make about 9 plastic bags is equivalent to the energy it takes to drive a car one kilometer, or 0.62 miles.
          ****

          But Jim, I’m not letting you off this easy. Your advocacy FOR plastic bags has to do with claims that cross contamination from reusable bags is a greater danger to public health whcih is laughable given the rigged test you set up deliberately placing apples in a bag that smelled to higgh heaven and defying common sense to do it all.

          Now i’m sure you’re aware of a 2010 University of Arizona study — http://uanews.org/pdfs/GerbaWilliamsSinclair_BagContamination.pdf — which tries to make a case for reusable bags as a cesspool of cross contamination, but even this study says:

          “Hand or machine washing was found to reduce the bacteria in bags by greater than 99.9%. These results indicate that reusable bags can play a significant role in the cross contamination of foods if not properly washed on a regular basis. It is recommended that the public needs to be educated about the proper care of reusable bags by printed instructions on the bags or through public service announcements”

          Now Jim; you made a big deal of asking me how many plastic bags are on your pristine beach. I don’t know. Perhaps you can tell me how many San Clemente residents have died from cross contamination of food directly related to using reuable grocery bags? I will be honest and say I have no idea, but have a pretty good feeling the answer is zero.

          From this site: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Factsheets/Foodborne_Illness_What_Consumers_Need_to_Know/index.asp

          About 3,000 people in the US die from food bourne illnesses Jim. But in this chart, most of it seems to be from pathogens on meat or unwashed produce. Please enlighten me on statistics for people who have died as a result of a food bourne illness directly related to cross contamination from a reuable bag.

          And I have asked four times now and you still are evasive on if you have any client who has a vested interest in preventing a plastic bag ban in San Clemente or throughout SoCal.

          Your nephew is a slob. Perhaps the invisible hand of the free market you conservatives so worship will do his laundry for him and get him into the shower.

          • Jim Bieber
            February 19, 2012 at 9:57 pm

            Dan-
            If you can sing along –“getting to know you, getting to know all abbbaout you..”
            My big payout for my efforts from the plastic industry – nada, nothing. I just don’t want to be a part of your tribe, I don’t want to fix a problem that isn’t there. I went a half mile with the family this afternoon at low tide and we combed the beach looking at all the debris. You are right, there is plenty of it. It rained hard, twice this week and there had not been a clean up truck or crew so this was all as fresh gunk, as fresh as it was going to get.
            Lots of trash AND plastic bits, parts of items we could not recognize some we could and there was some plastic bags and wrappers. Not a single piece that could be a plastic grocery bag. Okay that is just a ½ mile strip. But I have never seen a bag at the beach. I did see two bags on my 5 mile bike ride, they were by the fence next to the 5 freeway. One item that I did pick up for the irony was a Starkbuck’s plastic cup. It was the EXACT same cup as the member of SC’s Coastal Advisory Committee was sucking from as he said these words “ this isn’t going to solve anything, this is about changing how people think.” He repeated that line in the Register’s story on the council meeting.
            “About 3,000 people in the US die from food bourne illnesses..”True but you left out how many got ill. My slob nephew hidden “bag –o-germs” that he will drag into the store will effect an Felix Unger near freak like you.
            Right after a BIG storm for fun you can take golf clubs to Doheny beach and you will find almost hundred golf balls. You can smack them around, walk a few feet and more balls! Far more than plastic bags.

            • February 20, 2012 at 9:46 am

              “I don’t want to fix a problem that isn’t there.”

              Jim — I will concede a considerable number of people get food poisoning and get sick from it every day, but you can’t connect the dots back to reusable grocery bags. You have no hard proof and no tangible evidence other than a rigged test that no person with an iota of common sense would follow — placing food in a dirty, smelly bag and then blaming it on the bag. Sort of like peeing in the pool and then complaining about the chlorine.

              That all said, I’m hardly an Unger character (see my office or my garage), but when you grow food as I have for years and shop at Farmer’s market, washing the produce before using it is a no-brainer and eliminates more of the food pathogen risk associated with food born illness.

              I have heard some people blame the conveyor belts at supermarkets for contributing to cross contamination too — have you protested these? As for washing meat, try it before packaging it for the freezer — it accelerates the freezing process in addition to washing away additional germs.

              I have presented you with a number of facts about plastic bags, coastal pollution, and the lack of hard data on toxic reusable bags; you seem to think banning these plastic disposable shopping bags is an affront to freedom. And you have yet to produce any single credible source that bolster’s your contention that reuasble bags are a worse risk to public health than the disposable bags.

              You don’t have a client in this space? If took you long enough to fess up and frankly, your avoidance in answering makes me question your honesty or sincerity.

              But I have to hand it to you Jim; rigging a test to prove a point is a page out of the GOP handbook. I still remember all those satellite images of WMDs the Bush administration used to make a case for invading Iraq.

              By all means, keep arguing and responding. We’ll wave to you next time we pass San Clemente when we’re out on our jetboat.

  7. February 17, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Jim — for a conservative you care little about conservation and rigging a test to make a point lacks conviction.

    For the record, if you use plastic shopping bags 4 or 5 times as you say you do, I can recreate the same test you did with leaky meat juices and fruit.

    No one is going to stick fresh fruit in a stinky dirty bag. That defies logic and common sense — something I believe many conservatives lack. Thanks for being People’s Exhibit “A”

    I’ll note I have ask twice (now three times) if you have a client fighting these bans. By your silence, I think we know the answer. Is responding to these comments billable time?

  8. Jim Bieber
    February 17, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    Dan-

    Dan good for you! Re-created it with fruit juice! That’s why I throw the bag away after the bannana peel and apple core is in it.

    I have a 4,000 qwt foot custom home that’s an 8 minute walk from the beach in San Clemente, a second beach rental that I advertise as being an 8 minute walk to the most pristine beach on the west coast, 4 surf boards , five boogie boards, two sail boats (small) a arsenal of spear fishing gear, my kid’s birthday parties are on the beach, every free time, weather permitting I am at the beach on, in the water, on top of, in or under, so what’s your educated guess if I have a client from the plastic council who’s paying me to speak up to oppose a ban on plastic bags that could only improve my lifestyle?

    I will tell you the truth if you answer my qestions – how many plastic bags were found on the beach in San Clemete or in the ocean off our shores? Just offer a educated guess, you must know. It’s an epidemic! I’m willing to swap info and disclose – but you need to go first.

  9. Jim Bieber
    February 17, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    Dan-

    I know its late – but please cough up a number. 25 bags? 50, 1,000 how many bags were found at SC beaches in any given year? I can tell you how many balloon bits were found, tell me how many plastic bags. I want to confront my A-hole neigbors who are littering X number of bags. That’s the whole point bags at the beach ocean. Give me a number and I will tell you to the penny how much I am getting paid by the plastic folk

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