Walnut Creek City Council Approves Plastic Bag Ban

March 5, 2014 19:32 pm · 119 comments


Walnut Creek will be one of the next Bay Area cities to say goodbye to plastic bags.

The City Council voted 4-1 on Tuesday night to ban single-use carryout plastic bags at all retail stores and restaurants.

Customers will instead have the option of paying 10 to 25 cents for a paper bag or bringing their own reusable bags to shop.

Walnut Creek follows more than 90 cities and counties statewide that have implemented a plastic bag ban, including Contra Costa County cities such as Richmond and El Cerrito.

The ban will take effect for all stores in September and for all restaurants citywide in December.

City leaders first considered the idea of a plastic bag ban in 2010 and in October the City Council called on city staff to draft an ordinance prohibiting retailers from distributing plastic bags.

The idea was initially discussed after it was learned that plastic bags were a leading source of pollution in the city’s streets and creek beds.

Retailers who do not comply with the ordinance may be fined $100 for a first violation, $200 for a second violation and $500 for a third and all following violations.

A few people voiced their opposition to the ban on Tuesday night, saying it will unduly burden residents.

But Rinta Perkins, who manages the city’s Clean Water Program, said Tuesday that the “challenges are outweighed by the benefits of reducing litter and cleanup costs paid by taxpayers, preserving wildlife and protecting human health.”

She also cited a survey among San Jose business owners and residents showing that 98 percent of that city’s retailers have complied with the plastic bag ban enacted in 2012 and that the law drastically reduced plastic bag litter citywide.

Brian March 5, 2014 at 7:35 PM

10 to 25 cents? Clarify?

Killjoy March 5, 2014 at 7:44 PM

Next up, they will cite people for having gas in public, or just ban breathing all together.

Funnyclown March 5, 2014 at 7:44 PM

I would put my money on the residents who have the option to shop in PH or Concord, will be doing that till they pass something similar if they haven’t yet.

This is a scam March 5, 2014 at 7:49 PM

so if I get take out from some place that uses plastic I have to pay there also? If I get Back 40s, Sub way and so on.

Scrappy March 5, 2014 at 7:53 PM

I think this is complete Bullsh!t!! Remember years ago. BEFORE plastic bags ever existed? We used paper bags, and we weren’t charged for them! Stores adjusted their prices to offset the cost of them so why are we paying for them now?? I’m sick and tired of the GREED

Red Headed Left Handed Inuit March 5, 2014 at 7:54 PM

Killjoy, WC is after you. Of course you could learn that gas is bad. So is the rest of the stuff WC hates.

Roundabout March 5, 2014 at 7:55 PM

This is a good initiative-I usually bring a reusable grocery bag with me anyway. I know a lot of people will object, but this will make the city much cleaner.

Tiffany March 5, 2014 at 7:57 PM

Awesome! Bring your own bags people!!! If we all do it, it makes a big difference!!! We need to reuse and reduce waaaaay more then just recycle. Please read up on this if you don’t think it is necessary.

J.D. March 5, 2014 at 8:00 PM

This will cost Walnut Creek, because many people, (myself included) will refuse to have to pay for bags, and as a result will shop elsewhere, like Pleasant Hill, Concord and Lafayette where plastic bags will still be available. (I DO reuse and recycle shopping bags, bath paper and a plastic). This ordanince is bad for Walnut Creek business owners.

Elwood March 5, 2014 at 8:00 PM


That’ll make everything all better.

I expect something like this from the twits in the east bay flatlands, but Walnut Creek?

It’s the twitification of the world, I guess.

Ranchgirlca March 5, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Been bringing my own bags for years. Not sure of the effect on restaurants, but when shopping for clothes, electronics, shoes… They will charge you. Start saving those big bags.

Ranchgirlca March 5, 2014 at 8:01 PM

Does this also mean the baggers will actually learn how to bag groceries properly?!?!

Frank March 5, 2014 at 8:10 PM

Totally ridiculous. feel good, politically correct BS!
I live on Ayers RD & seldom ever have to police up plastic bags. On the other hand, if I had a nickel for every cigarette butt I’ve picked up, I could have retired by now. Let’s totally ban cigarettes right now! Makes more sense than bag bans.
I either reuse or recycle the plastic bags I acquire…no big deal. So can you.

This is a scam March 5, 2014 at 8:12 PM

I thought you could get paper for free now, I dont think they charge me. So one day I will go in and they will charge me for a bag tht was free a few days ago? So whats going to happen when I bring in my plastic I have at the house, the same one’s they used to use?

JWB March 5, 2014 at 8:13 PM

Yes shopping in Concord or Lafayette makes a lot of sense, how could you not drive 10 miles back and forth at 50 cents a mile to safe 40 cents on a bag,…

Breaking bad March 5, 2014 at 8:26 PM

City Of Pittsburg already has this ban in place

ClayDen March 5, 2014 at 8:28 PM

This is, in a word, stupid. If the concern is litter and the plastic bags clogging the landfills, then paper bags should be required, as they degrade nicely. Also, paper is made from trees, which are a crop and thus renewable. I guess it takes an engineer to cut through the political correctness nonsense and solve the problem (which is what engineers are trained to do).

anon March 5, 2014 at 8:39 PM

Sorry Sprouts. I enjoyed your store. I was fine with your choosing to charge us for bags. I am not fine with a local government sticking it’s nose in and deciding not only that we can’t use certain kinds of bags, that we must pay a certain amount for other bags. Since you’re in Walnut Creek, I’ll just have to shop elsewhere.
-Former Sprout Customer

#8 – It’s a good thing to bring re-usable bags. We often do. However, I can’t support fascism, even if it’s well-intended.

Old Gringo March 5, 2014 at 8:42 PM

They are not single use bags if you reuse them for many things. Once this takes effect I will stop shopping in Walnut Creek and I won’t pick up after my dog when he does his business on their streets and parks.

cowell March 5, 2014 at 8:45 PM

So what about “PLASTIC BOTTLES”? They are found everywhere in the Bay.

Laura Zah March 5, 2014 at 8:45 PM

I guess all the really important problems have already been taken care of. Maybe they should also pass an ordinance making it illegal for the ladies to wear white before Memorial Day.

Ven Exeter March 5, 2014 at 8:50 PM

Just another example of elitist politicians deciding what’s best for us. It’s very important for all of us that oppose totalitarianism to take our shopping dollars to Pleasant Hill, Concord, and LaFayette.

When I first moved to the Bay Area I lived in a third floor apt in Walnut Creek and remember what a pain it was for a then young man to lug groceries up three flights of stairs even with the easier to carry plastic bags. Of course our elitist liberal masters don’t live in apartments, nor do they give a hoot about those who do. I pity the elderly who must carry bags up a flight or two of stairs, who will be the real victims of this cruel law.

anon March 5, 2014 at 8:51 PM

What next no paper towels in restrooms and gas stations. Also a real mess at Broadway Plaza when they take down the parking garage and buildings between Macy and Norstroms.

All for it March 5, 2014 at 8:56 PM

This is great! Sad to see Killjoy and others are too self-absorbed to appreciate the far reaching benefits of this change. I hope Concord and the rest of Claycord are quick to follow.

J.D. March 5, 2014 at 9:00 PM

@ JWB it’s not driving “10 miles back and forth” , it’s not even “out of my way” when it’s on my way, and just as convenient to stop off in those cities on my way home.

anon March 5, 2014 at 9:02 PM

oh no! this could be you. fred armistad portlandia funny.

@cowell March 5, 2014 at 9:04 PM

SF is banning the sale of water in plastic bottles.

Connie Dobbs March 5, 2014 at 9:12 PM

I’ll sell you Martesian plastic shopping bags for a nickel each.
Watch where you’re walking, Creeksters. A lot more people have just stopped picking up after their dogs.

Reality Slap March 5, 2014 at 9:21 PM

I will be bringing my single use plastic bags from home to the store to use them again. Once those bags give out and can’t be used, I’ll turn to cloth bags. Turning my single use into multiple use, now that’s recycling.

All for it claycordian March 5, 2014 at 9:24 PM

I’ve been carrying my own bags for years. It’s not fascism, it’s just good sense. Remember Ma Ingles? She carried her goods in a basket. Eggs wrapped in a cloth. I say get rid of water bottles too. Heck, any plastic bottle drink. Don’t even get me started on plastic containers that baked goods in the grocery store are sold in. Get rid of big grocery stores! Save the environment and help prevent obesity at the same time.

vindex March 5, 2014 at 9:26 PM

I guess Safeway lost all my business when in Walnut Creek. That’s the only way to stop this insanity…with our wallets. IF Safeway feels the pinch financially, they will pressure the City. Stop shopping at Safeway in Walnut Creek

Reality Slap March 5, 2014 at 9:33 PM

Just had a thought….waiting for the one person to push up to a checkstand with 50+ items in their cart, refuse to pay for a bag, refuse to furnish one of their own, and have to have the courtesy clerk put all the items one by one back into the cart. It will be a zoo. LOL

WC Resident March 5, 2014 at 9:34 PM

Those who want to use dirty, raw chicken juice covered, reusable bags already had the choice to do so, and this won’t change behavior. Most won’t even think about or realize they’re now going to pay for bags. Oh wait, does this have the selective imposition clause that says the city will let low income people have bags for free or give them reusable bags with other peoples money? Nanny state BS. Non WC stores within 15 minutes from me.

Reality Says... March 5, 2014 at 9:36 PM

Banning water in plastic bottles-I guess they’re going back to using glass. That worked really well with glass all over the streets.

GoodGrief March 5, 2014 at 9:45 PM

Damn hippies…

shopper March 5, 2014 at 9:46 PM

this has been become SUCH A NUISANCE when trying to your dam grocrery shopping and that I will boycott every store that doesn’t provide or charges for back. GO SUCK YOURSELF.

shopper March 5, 2014 at 9:48 PM

Stupid Grocery Store personnel doesn’t even know how to pack or deal with bags that people bring into the stores. I HATE GROCERY SHOPPING NOW. This whole entire practice is uber ridiculous.

Nostrildomus March 5, 2014 at 9:49 PM

Ban everything convenient. Make life more difficult, but approve all the nonsense that make us look like idiots.
Snap a ppic and post on your facebooks…because only YOU and your views are important on this earth!. LOL and LOL and LOL until you all do yourselves in!

Isabelle March 5, 2014 at 9:56 PM

Great going Walnut Creek! I hope all cities follow this initiative. This is good for the planet.

VikingPrincess March 5, 2014 at 9:57 PM

@anon #18 – I shop at Sprouts and they actually credit you for bringing your own bags. I understand the intended principal, in fact it feels much better to do it by choice as opposed to being coerced.
This bag charging practice is common already in Europe – or a variation of the law.

Sign of the times.

CeeMee March 5, 2014 at 10:00 PM

Who can find parking to shop in WC? Wants so badly to be SF.

popo March 5, 2014 at 10:11 PM

Bring your own bag….A shoplifters delight!

Good luck oh smart Earth savers! New Consequences to every action

mutts March 5, 2014 at 10:12 PM

I thought plastic bags came into use to save trees. I’m trying to get my dishes clean since the soap police removed phosphates or whatever it was. Maybe environmentlist need electric shock treatments. America is going downhill and plastic bags are on the top of the list? What next? Nothing these whackos think up seems to work.

Kelly March 5, 2014 at 10:25 PM

mutts, plastic does save trees-now we’re going to have to petition to save trees again or people just bring in their own cloth bags. It’s really about abuse of the system, which people tend to do. No worries, another initiative is on the horizon.

mrdioji March 5, 2014 at 10:29 PM

Looks like I’ll be doing more shopping in walnut creek to make up for the ridiculous, backwards folks who are planning to stop shopping in walnut creek.
This just makes sense.
@22 Ven – cloth bags are much gentler on the forearm than stringy plastic that leaves painful indentations
@14 this is a scam – yes, they will charge you for something that was once free. It’s a disincentive.
I don’t think people realize the hierarchy of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Sure, it’s great you reuse the bags, but to reduce and not use at all is certainly the preferred alternative. Recycling is a last alternative.
@14 anon – lol, so dramatic. I guarantee you will still shop in walnut creek.
To people saying they’ll stop picking up after their dogs – that’s just immature. Buy some bags, be respobsible… you’re a pet owner. Should people give you free disposable diapers and dog food, too?

Michelle March 5, 2014 at 10:29 PM

Actually that makes sense WC–look for the “free shopping bag give-away” day. It will happen, bets anyone?

BRING A BOX March 5, 2014 at 10:34 PM

pLASTIC BAGS WILL BE REINSSTATED QUICKLY AND i WILL go back to using smaller print for the good of the earth

Seaurch March 5, 2014 at 10:35 PM

Good going WC! Single-use plastic bags are incredibly wasteful and end up mostly in landfills where they never break down (and in the Pacific Trash Vortex, tragically).

Hopefully Concord/PH follows suit, though the state may be taking it out of local communities hands soon.


Michelle March 5, 2014 at 10:46 PM

oops..forgot to mention, you would have to be low income to qualify. lol 🙂

furian March 5, 2014 at 10:56 PM

Damn you Obama!

Ricardoh March 5, 2014 at 11:14 PM

I told you they would come after you also. Plastic bags are just the beginning. Another shout out to the Walnut City Council for there follow the leader mentality. Where did these people come from?

Reality Slap March 6, 2014 at 12:15 AM

Don’t bring corrugated cardboard boxes home. Have a family member who did, put the box in a pantry and surprise they got more than their groceries…try cockroaches who love to live in warehouses in cardboard boxes and take free trips in those boxes. Pest control guy told her not to bring the boxes home.

I LIVE IN PITTSBURG March 6, 2014 at 4:44 AM

In the middle of January, Pittsburg started this ban and it’s 10 cents a bag. It’s the dumbest and craziest thing I ever heard. I understand if you want to use a plastic bag, but for a paper bag that’s been around for ever and ever??? Those who have cashier/clerk jobs even think this charge is stupid and some don’t even charge you for the bags. Also, as a heads up, you are taxed on these bags too; dumb.

The best place that uses really good, strong, reusable, sturdy plastic bag is Mi Pueblo and they also have paper bags too.

I was in Austin TX last year and they charge 25 cents a bag.

Suzanne March 6, 2014 at 5:15 AM

@Reality Slap,
Roaches are indeed a problem with paper products and boxes. Do not bring any cardboard box in the home. If you have to use it, throw it away outside.

Anon March 6, 2014 at 5:29 AM

So much for shopping in W.C.

Anon777 March 6, 2014 at 5:56 AM

Just another reason not to shop in Walnut Creek!

HMMMMMMm March 6, 2014 at 6:29 AM

FEMA Camps are next! Google it if you have not heard of them.

dinkydau March 6, 2014 at 6:37 AM

What if I get a some things in the store and bring them to the check stand and have forgotten my bag. Then what?

Pati March 6, 2014 at 6:38 AM

They banned smoking in downtown walnut creek and that hasn’t changed! I’m a mother of two and it pissed me off that ppl rather focuse on plastic bags just to make 10-25cents more than our children and public who like me dislike the smoke being blowin in my child’s lungs! Environment??? BS! Excusues to cover up greed! Act for what really matters!!!

Nanny Laws March 6, 2014 at 6:40 AM

It has been reported that those that bring their own bags to the grocery stores will end up with all types of bacteria and such unless they wash their bags after every use.
Great trade off. Save the landfills at the potential health risks to the same consumers.

funny man March 6, 2014 at 6:53 AM

jimminy crickets! really? out of all the problems facing city councils across california… THIS is what pretentious overpriced suburban fat cats tackle??!!

KenInConcord March 6, 2014 at 7:45 AM

I get the paper or plastic decision. BUT NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT THE $.25 CHARGE?

Who gets that money? I think it looks like a 300% mandatory tax on a product the store make available to their customers!!

KenInConcord March 6, 2014 at 7:53 AM

It this what we have really come to??



The Mamba March 6, 2014 at 7:57 AM

Haha, this is so ridiculous. I’m bitter because I love Target’s plastic bags for picking up dog poop, nice and thick and sturdy.

Rick March 6, 2014 at 8:23 AM

Hey, right-wing wacko idiots, and you know who you are, just like the abolition of slavery and ALL citizens of the United States having the right to vote, banning plastic bags in our neighborhoods is going to take some getting used to by you mental giants(?). Just deal with it. Maybe your great-grandchildren will appreciate it.

LollyP March 6, 2014 at 8:27 AM

I agree Nanny Laws, it’s going to get ugly when you don’t wash out you chicken gut soaked reusable bag and then put your lovely fresh vegetables in it next time you shop. So what about the other stores like Ross? Do I need to bring my own bag there too? And while I’m in the grocery store, does this mean I have to bring baggies from home to put my brussel sprouts in?

Mark March 6, 2014 at 8:33 AM

Reading these comments makes me sick. What a bunch of pathetic a-holes you are. You don’t give a sh$t about the world we live in. All you care about is convenience and money. “Wa wa wa, I have to spend 10 cents on a paper bag. I’m never going to shop in Walnut Creek again.” Meanwhile the streets, gutters, streams, bays and oceans are loaded with plastic. You know plastic doesn’t go away. It just gets smaller and smaller and congregates out in the ocean where you don’t have to see the disgusting mess you made. Christ people, are you ever going to learn? Obviously not.

I hope they institute this ban in all of Contra Costa County. They have already done so in SF, San Mateo, Alameda, Santa Clara, Mendocino, and Humboldt, just to name a few. I can’t wait to hear you all freak out when you have to bring a reusable bag to WalMart. Jerks!

Love USA March 6, 2014 at 8:43 AM

That makes me think #64, are they going to eliminate the mutt mitts too?
I have been saving those plastic bags and will continue to do so. Then instead of shopping in WC just go to PH or Concord?

City Girl March 6, 2014 at 8:46 AM

This is absolutely frickin’ ridiculous!! I am sick and tired of this GD government dictating how we live our lives. It seems as though everything I do or everywhere I go, I am being watched or dictated to. It is only going to get MUCH worse. Watch out for the drones.

Would this be a tax or a profit for the stores?

Clayton Squirrel March 6, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Very cool. I bring my own bags anyway. Hate to see those plastic bags stuck in the creek beds and blowing around. Sad to see pictures of sea life dead from eating plastic too. That plastic just hangs around forever. Safeway has some pretty bad baggers who overuse plastic bags but Trader Joe’s cashiers are awesome with their bigger paper bags as well as being great with my canvas and vinyl reusable bags. Very exciting. Good step Walnut Creek!

Pyrrhus March 6, 2014 at 9:04 AM

I can’t help but laugh at all the people getting so worked up over plastic bags. You will all shop in other cities? So what are you going to do when every city in California bans the bags. I guess you guys are moving to Arizona. I can’t wait for that to happen! Then maybe we can get some sensible people in the area that actually give a crap about something else other than their convenience and selfishness.

Ban the bags! I work and live in areas that have the bans and it is so easy to get by. I keep a reusable bag in my car and one in my backpack. What’s great about reusable bags is that they are bigger and stronger than the cheap plastic bags given at stores.

Jojo Potato March 6, 2014 at 9:07 AM

The city council claimed to have gotten citizen input from their idiotic “town hall” website. That had a questionaire about how to implement the law, not any chance to say it’s a bad idea. Like should charity shops be covered and other nonsense. I am so sick of my city government it’s not even funny. They are claiming a million dollar plus deficit and yet spending time on the smoking ban and this bag deal. Can’t wait for the November election to vote out as many as possible.

Jojo Potato March 6, 2014 at 9:16 AM

I just looked through the “Town hall” responses from the WC website. Most people did the same thing that I did, ignored all the loaded questions and then in the comment section, blasted the whole idea as stupid. So much for the council actually reading and taking our ideas seriously. I’m getting ready to curse now, so I’ll just let it go at that. Regards. I

anon March 6, 2014 at 9:36 AM

I think its a good idea. I have been bringing my own bags for years. I keep a supply in the trunk of my car and it is now an automatic response on my part to grab bags out of the trunk. Don’t know what all the fuss is about.

Wall&Broad March 6, 2014 at 9:49 AM

With all the people from this blog saying they will now avoid Walnut Creek, I think the city council will achieve their goal of making Walnut Creek cleaner.

WC March 6, 2014 at 9:49 AM

This is what I will do. I won’t use any bags. After check out I will ask them to leave the items there and I’ll make 10 trips back and forth to my car. The lines will back up through the store if we all do this. C’mon let’s have some fun with it!

Must be Thursday March 6, 2014 at 9:58 AM

We live in WC, but I’m not one to sweat the stuff. I’ll bring the reusable bags, get everything in the trunk, and get the groceries in the fridge or cupboard when I get home.

I do like plastic bags, and we saw this coming……my husband has “quite the collection” in the garage.

Peachy March 6, 2014 at 10:03 AM

We are hoarding plastic bags in preparation for a global ban. We reuse them for garbage and kitty litter. And take them to SF when we go there.

Ricardoh March 6, 2014 at 10:14 AM

I drive on the streets, walk on paths and sidewalks, and boat on our water ways. I don’t see plastic bags all over. This is hysteria like global warming now called climate change and next week who knows what they will call it. This whole world has become paranoid.

RIII March 6, 2014 at 10:17 AM

Always remember, there are a group of people who know how to plan your activities so much better than you do! After all, they are the enlightened and they are so much more capable of making these wonderful decisions. They will clean up the city, solve the obesity problem, educate your children and spend your money on really important things. And, we just have to thank ourselves, after all, we elected them!

Tim S March 6, 2014 at 10:19 AM

A lot of people will just shop in Pleasant Hill or Concord or wherever where they can still get plastic bags. People will vote with their wallets regardless of how the Sh*tty Council voted. Also, reusable bags are a public health concern: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/01/06/reusable-grocery-bag-germs/4341739.

typical concord resident March 6, 2014 at 10:30 AM

This is a bigger assault on freedom than the time Hitler invaded Poland! It’s time to EXERCISE YOUR SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS!

Nothing to Sell but Fear March 6, 2014 at 10:32 AM

So the Green-meanines are at it again, bullying us into compliance to avert what ever imagined disaster their current scare would yield (the Global Warming business must be slowing down).

Your guide to environmentalism:

1990’s: “You arrogant a-holes, you are killing the Earth with your paper bags that kill zillions of trees each year. Save the Earth! Use plastic bags!”

2010’s: “You arrogant a-holes, you are killing the Earth with your plastic bags that don’t decompose. Save the Earth! Use cloth bags!”

2030’s: “You arrogant a-holes, you are killing the Earth with your cloth bags that use zillions of gallons of water to wash and send zillions of tons of fatal detergents into the oceans. Save the Earth! Use …”

2050’s: “You arrogant a-holes …”

You get the picture. We went through the exact same thing with MTBE not that long ago. And remember how the New Ice Age scare of the ’70’s became the current Global Warming scare?

Of course the green-meanies neglect to remind you that they are the ones who forced you to do the very thing which they now condemn you for – be it plastic bags, MTBE, etc.

jtkatec March 6, 2014 at 10:42 AM

WC (76) – you’re funny

just a concordian March 6, 2014 at 11:00 AM

So a dad goes to BK to buy dinner for everyone. Clearly he could have made better food choices but we’re not discussing that. 4 burgers, 4 fries, a couple of desserts and 4 drinks. Would you like to pay 10 cent for a bag? Or would you rather dump all these food items on the passenger seat? Drive carefully now. No sudden breaking!

Gents and ladies too: a condom is also a bag. And it’s plastic. And it is single use.

City Girl March 6, 2014 at 11:58 AM

I think what I would do is use nothing…..no bags, no box lids. Just have everything put back in the cart as it was (sort of like Costco except they sometimes use boxes) and then ask for service out!! The courtesy clerks are not allowed to accept gratuity.

Cinda March 6, 2014 at 12:03 PM

If you disagree, make them pay at the polls in November.

OldWCreeker March 6, 2014 at 12:24 PM

A great big shout-out to Justin Wedel! The only council member to speak up in defense of Liberty.

I already take my used bags and other bags to the store without the government telling me to.

I wish that Walnut Creek would solve their REAL problems. Too numerous to list but very evident by their awful fiscal mismanagement and secret dealings.

Kirkwood March 6, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Years ago when paper bags were becoming replaced by plastic bags, concerned citizens were told that the “soon to be coming” plastic bags would be made from a corn byproduct and biodegradable. What happened to that?

What irks me most is that stores charge for cloth bags bearing their own advertising. I refuse to pay to carry their advertising for free. At the very least the bags should be free. Incidentally, you can buy cloth bags at the 99 cent store.

JD March 6, 2014 at 12:39 PM

@KenInConcord: My understanding is that the stores themselves get to keep the fee they charge for bags as profit, (which for store are nominal costs already factored into to pricing), so the ordinance really “incentivizes” them to get on board with this. The best way to show disapproval is to take your business elsewhere, to stores or in cities that do not charge for bags.

anon March 6, 2014 at 12:41 PM

people hate change.
what was life like before plastic bags?
what did people do before paper bags?
people hate change
i know, someone has moved your cheese
if you dont know what i mean you really need to read the book.

anon March 6, 2014 at 12:44 PM

if you like some of the snl comedians….watch this, you’ll thank me later. -monk

Suzanne March 6, 2014 at 12:51 PM

anon, I’m laughing now…and still laughing …hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Rick March 6, 2014 at 1:04 PM

I guess #79 hasn’t seen east oakland lately. Not that I make it a point to go there. Just an example.

JWB March 6, 2014 at 1:16 PM

“in defense of Liberty”

you guys crack me up….. just for clarification this ordinance is about the ban of shopping bags and not teabaggers.

taking away our rights.... March 6, 2014 at 1:49 PM

….one by one.
I did not vote for these people.
Did you?

Pyrrhus March 6, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Ricardoh, I have no idea where you are looking but I’ve done the coastal cleanup for years and there have been plenty of plastic bags that I’ve picked up. Before the ban in San Francisco and Oakland, it was horrendous, especially in the China Town Districts and under the overpasses. Since the bans have been implemented there things look way better. (Still smells like pee though).

Elwood March 6, 2014 at 2:21 PM

Vote out all incumbents.

Repeat until things change.

chalkboy8 March 6, 2014 at 2:24 PM

What I do is go to the produce section and snag a few PLASTIC veggie bags to use for a few items.

First it was low flush toilets that require more water due to multiple flushing, twisty light bulbs that don’t give off any light and now no bags.

They should have considered giving a discount if you bring your own bag instead of going directly to making people pay for what they think is “good for the environment.”

Anon2you March 6, 2014 at 2:50 PM

Oddly, I am OK with this but really would like to stop these crappy plastic bags all together. Just go back to brown paper bags. They are fully recyclable, re-usable and better for the environment if they are thrown away since they will decompose. The plastic bags suck, they don’t hold enough, they break, the handles cut into your hands when you carry a few of them, they don’t break down in the ground, they are a blight, I could go on.

Ricardo March 6, 2014 at 2:53 PM

What about the plastic bag the newspaper comes in during the rain? Is the cc times going to change for WC & Pittsburg?

just a concordian March 6, 2014 at 2:55 PM

A plastic bag costs the grocery stores something like half a penny. They are now selling them for 1500 markup. A paper bag is significantly less. The markup is much higher. Someone IS profiting from this. And it’s not us.

anon March 6, 2014 at 3:51 PM

@#102 the city must be getting some kind of fee.

JustMe March 6, 2014 at 3:59 PM

I hate this, and it’s one of the reasons why I don’t shop in Pittsburg, which already has the ban.

If they want to remove plastic bags, they should give us paper without charging extra for it.

Louisa March 6, 2014 at 4:01 PM

lol WC, and I thought you liked bringing your own bags, remind me not to shop behind you; you’ll have everyone in that line until closing time. 🙂

slagheap March 6, 2014 at 5:10 PM

excellent, a very responsible decision. btw, a statewide ban is long overdue – and it is coming!!!

slagheap March 6, 2014 at 5:13 PM

oh, i forgot one thing: all you cretins up in arms over this, SUCK IT.

@Reality Slap #52 March 6, 2014 at 5:56 PM


just a concordian March 6, 2014 at 5:59 PM


May I interest you in a new house? Great location, smoking neighbors and falling leaves all year through. And it’s right near Safeway so you can walk from the store with your arms full of groceries. Don’t drop the eggs.

ahilal March 6, 2014 at 8:20 PM

Having already been through this in my former home city, I’m glad it came to Walnut Creek, where I now live. It is no burden whatsoever. If you can’t be bothered to bring in a sack then pay a dime. It reduces the amount of trash blowing around the hills and floating in the creeks and off our coast. I say hell yes please and thank you.

Hvacman March 6, 2014 at 8:25 PM

The term single use is the misleading politically correct term they use to cram yet another unwanted, unneeded law down or throats.
We use them over and over as do most people. Most people have dispensers made specifically to hold and keep handy bags such as these.
Someone above posted:
“Just had a thought….waiting for the one person to push up to a checkstand with 50+ items in their cart, refuse to pay for a bag, refuse to furnish one of their own, and have to have the courtesy clerk put all the items one by one back into the cart. It will be a zoo. LOL”
Take it a step further and ask them to help you take the unbagged groceries to your car…and load each single item carefully into your vehicle 🙂

Just me March 6, 2014 at 8:42 PM

LMFAO. You guys aren’t going to go shop in concord or pleasant hill. Seriously. You’re going to spend 5 bucks more on gas to save 40-50 cents in bags. Give me a break with all this huff puff.

This story broke weeks ago and I bet none of you went to city hall to voice your opinion. So why bs everyone now.

This whole thing is a scam.

If you really want to stick it to them then load up a cart. Go through the checkout and after everything’s all rang up and they tell you that bags cost money tell them you’re not interisted in purchasing then and walk off.

Shopping at the Safeway in pleasant hill over the one in walnut creek doesn’t hurt Safeway. In the end they still get your money

RepealBagFee March 7, 2014 at 12:14 AM

Boycott shopping bag fee. No shopping. No sales tax for Walnut Creek and its City Council. We will let them try to balance their budget.

this is a total eco-fad perpetuated by the green people. It does not help the environment. It hurts the environment. And it hurt retailers and consumers.

With this onslaught by the leftists, the libels, I hope we all can appreciate lesser government more. Come to Republican or Libertarian.

You want to watch this 6 min movie: Are You Being Told the Truth
About Plastic Bags? on YouTube:


The ban is bad for:

— it is bad for the retailers. Bagging customers’ purchase
is the least of customer services that retailers should provide, especially on
discretionary shopping. Discretionary shopping is for pleasure. If it is not
fun, why should we shop? Then all stores can close, and we can all go

— it is bad for the residents. Many of us use them for garbage and pet
waste. Without them, we have to buy much thicker trash bags. Why is it better?

— it is bad for the environment. Plastic bags are made from
natural gas or oil. They take little to make compare to paper bags which come
from trees. The making of paper bags causes more green house effect, and global warming is our
biggest environment treat.

The bans supporters claim that only 3% plastic bags have
been recycled. Have they counted the ones we used for trash and pet waste?

Real scientists vow to the unbiased principle. They research
and do data gathering. They do not take side or advocate.
Those who advocates are not real scientist.

Buy 1000 plastic bags from Amazon for $25; the price has gone up from $20 due to demand.


Pat Cuviello March 7, 2014 at 2:06 AM

The grumblers will grumble and pay for the bags or bring their own and after a short time will stop grumbling and then forget why they ever grumbled in the first place. Just like recycling. Good for Walnut Creek and good for the environment.

JRConcord March 7, 2014 at 6:54 AM

Humans are a virus on this planet, eventually we will kill our host.
Good times!!

Laura Zah March 7, 2014 at 9:17 AM

Well JR self eradication is always an option.

NutCreek Frontier March 7, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Normally, a fan of WC Council, but think this is a silly law. Hardly think the people who buy groceries with plastic bags are then running over to the creek to throw those plastic bags in. Sadly, this will just encourage me to shop more at Trader’s Joes in Concord, and not Countrywood Safeway in Walnut Creek. Please WC Council please don’t turn into SF with empty-headed, feel good proposals that actually can turn around and bite you in the tax revenues.

Claycordite, retired RN March 8, 2014 at 12:33 AM

@#81 You kind of mentioned health issues in passing. I am sure that within the next few years we will see the Health Department objecting to anyone bringing in to the grocery store a bag from home which has been who knows where , loaded with all those antibiotic resistant germs we’ve picked up when we used the restroom somewhere, be it a restaurant or some other public place and perhaps we set down our purse and/or reusable bag carrying snacks or lunch fixins for a picnic, or snacks to a sporting event. I can’t see us promising to wash each bag after each use. let alone actually doing it. Forget that! Health Department issues will force provision of NEW carry out devices, be it bag or box to avoid stores passing on communicable diseases, even dangerous antibiotic resistant strains. Mark my words, we will see this if providing our own carry out bags is forced on us. The check stands and especially carts are already questionable communicable disease spreaders. Let someone’s only possibility of exposure be a grocery store – look out, the public concern for this danger will spread like wildfire and the issue of the day will be wild.I hope I;m wrong!

Antler March 9, 2014 at 11:55 AM

JWB at #95. ……more’s the pity.

RepealBagsFee at #113 …… Thank you for the excellent and clearly-presented information!

Claycordite, retired RN at #118. ….. Me, too.

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