California Mayor explains plastic bag ban

Larry Bragman, Mayor of Fairfax, CA, worked with fellow Green Party city council representative Lew Tremaine to pass a city ordinance banning the use of plastic carrying bags. In the front page video, Bragman explains what role San Francisco taking this first step had in emboldening the city to protect the environment, and how pointing out the cost to rubbish haulers for carrying these non-biodegradable to the landfill brought the trash haulers to support the ban. Polidoc Productions is responsible for this and many other fine Green Party oriented videos.

To watch a video of Larry Bragman and Lew Tremaine at a Green Party of California press conference, click the article headline.

This video comes from the efforts of Mike Feinstein

Green Party Watch News Network

Green activists reporting on Green Party candidates, chapters, committees and issues.


  1. The EPA was quoted in an interview saying…”consumers shouldn’t stress too much, as long as they’re recycling or reusing store bags, said Chris Newman, an environmental scientist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.”


    Did you know that the Australian government actually retracted its quote that 100,000 marine animals are killed by plastic bags each year because the story actually states that plastic fishing debris (mainly abandoned nets) was the cause?


    Also did you know that the majority US plastic bags are made from natural gas and not oil?

    For facts and links to the studies about plastic bags and the environment that started it all, as well as environmental shopping strategies and a survey of plastic bag knowledge…please visit


    Watch a plastic recycling emercial at


  2. I found it fascinating that the town council’s initial efforts to ban plastic shopping bags in retail locations was arrested by lawsuits launched by two plastic bag production companies, on the grounds that an environmental impact report had not been conducted.

    (Thanks for highlighting our work Greg.)

  3. I find it fascinating that there is an industry built on defending the plastic bag industry that is using “environmental issues” to defend it.

    Defend this: everywhere I walk and drive I see plastic bags hanging from trees and bushes like Christmas decorations, blowing across the road, perched on roof tops, hiding on school playgrounds, etc. They are ugly. Blame the user, not the producer? Tell that to the tobacco industry.

    How is a disposable petroleum product better than a reusable cloth one?

    Kleenex – you’re next! Get out your hankies!

  4. Did you that plastic is a petro-chemical product? That it is made from oil or, as “[Un]Clear Perspective” points out, natural gas? Is that how we should be using those resources? For a moment of convenience followed by an eternity of ‘blowing across the road?’

    I think not.

    Keep a couple of cloth bags in your car and carry them with you into the store.

  5. Plastic is indeed petro-chemical, whether coming from natural gas or oil, BUT it’s not raw oil or raw natural gas that is being used. Oil and gas are refined to create fuels, and other byproducts are made in the process. The vast majority of petrolium is useds as fuel. Plastic, ALL plastic accounts for less than 3% of our oil consumption. Even considering that plastic bags have oil/gas as a raw material, paper production consumes many times as much oil in production, recycling and transportation than plastic. There’s more to a product than what it is made from.

    So switching to paper, as San Francisco has done, causes a much higer dependance on oil, as well as creating many times the greenhouse gasses and water pollution. These are facts. Another fact is that the SF ban did nothing to stop littering there.

    To put it in perspective (something the anti-bag folks either hate or don’t understand), the average person uses about 500 bags a year. That is the oil equivanent of about half a gallon of gas. It’s pretty insignificant. It’s also widely stated that the US uses 12 million barrels of oil each year for plastic bags, which sounds like a lot until you realize that we consume almost twice that much oil every day just in the US.

    The biggest problem is litter, and you don’t stop littering by banning the things that get littered. It’s a behavior issue -stop PEOPLE from littering. Here in Seattle I look for bags blowing down the street (I hear that they are everywhere) and I very very seldom see even one. I do see lots of cigarett butts, fast food wrappers, broken glass, soda cans, and candy wrappers… maybe all those products should be banned too…

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