Millbrae's Plastic Bag Ban: How's It Going?

The city's plastic bag ban went into effect Sept. 1. Has it affected how your shopping thus far?

Take our poll about how this affects you. Also, tell us in the comments below your opinion on the ban.

Have you brought any reusable bags yet to transport your groceries? You can pick up a free one at City Hall, Public Works Office.

Here's more info from the city of Millbrae, and see the PDF attached to this story for more details on the ordinance:

The Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance starts on September 1, 2012 for retail stores that distribute single-use carryout bags, including grocery stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, drug stores, department stores, home improvement stores, office supply stores, and other retail stores. The Ordinance prohibits the use of the thin plastic shopping bags with handles and the free distribution of paper bags in an effort to help reduce litter, help wildlife and our environment, and encourage the use of reusable shopping bags. To learn more, click on the link above.

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Judy L. Tyler September 12, 2012 at 05:00 PM
I no longer do any grocery shopping in Millbrae!!
Millbrae resident September 12, 2012 at 05:16 PM
It,s embarassing it just another reason that makes me go to another city to shop. Millbrae is forcing stores to do this in order to make a profit. Go to Trader Joes and spend $105.00 on two bags of food and that want to charge me 20cents instead of just giving me the bags. Lefty the food there and we shop away from Millbrae. Man this town has really hit bottom.
Robert Pellegrini September 12, 2012 at 08:03 PM
I think it's rediculous to pay for a bag. I used all my paper bags to recycle my paper products do they they would be contained and not blow all over the street when they are dumped. Maybe our town council can come and clean the streets when that starts to happen. I can understand the plastic bags but not the paper. It's recyclable just like the newspaper. Maybe they will outlaw the newspaper next.
Millbrae resident September 12, 2012 at 08:59 PM
When I questioned the store regarding this, they stated that they must buy the bags from Millbrae. Basically what they are saying s that Millbrae turned this into a method to make money. Couldn't figure out why they wouldn't just give me the 10 cent bag. Millbrae just cannot figure out how to do things right. It's made this town what it is. If they want to clean things up, they should walk down broadway at night as see how dirty the streets are with business throwing and laying trash in front of the stores. The strees have a serios stench. I will not pay for a bag. We now shop in San Bruno and Burlingame.
Christine Taylor September 12, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Spend a moment to learn about the policy and basic recycling facts. Businesses are required to comply, so relax about TJs "wanting" to charge for the bags. It's a financial disincentive designed to get the community to remember a simple, simple thing. Plastic bags are not recyclable in the same way that newspapers are, nor do newspapers get caught in trees and cause blight in the way that plastic bags do. I see them at the park, on our walk to school, near my house ... and often, they get carried by the wind to unreachable heights. I'm amazed at the short-sightedness of people who cannot simply toss a reusable bag in their car or purse. It takes literally seconds. And the penalty is 10 cents. Are you really going to stop supporting the businesses in your community for the sake of a dime because you consider this a symbol of something larger and can't wait to rant and show your disgust at a policy designed improve quality of life for our community in a very simple way? It's not about YOU. It's about ALL of us. As someone who regularly cleans up other people's trash (including dozens of plastic bags a month) while I'm walking with my kids, I'm happy about the change. If that makes me some sort of horrible lefty hippie who's ruining this city, then I embrace the title.
Christine Taylor September 12, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Good for you! Maybe more of our stores will close because people like you want to take a stand on such a life-or-death issue. It costs 10 CENTS or 10 SECONDS of forethought. Are you seriously going to withhold your support of local businesses because you cannot be bothered to toss a bag in your car? This is one of many changes required to clean up a city, and it's a step in the right direction.
Christine Taylor September 12, 2012 at 09:50 PM
Do you live in Millbrae? If so, you should be ashamed of yourself for not supporting your community because you don't feel like bringing a cheap, reusable bag. It's for the greater good.
Jesse M. September 13, 2012 at 12:49 AM
Hrrrmmmm...I wonder how people were able to eat and shop in pre shopping bag times. BTW, Safeway, Lucky, and Trader Joes aren't going out of business because of this. If they do, I'm sorry to say that you're just going to have to deal with all that terrible more sustainably grown and sold (and often cheaper) farmers market food. If you live in a $1million+ Millbrae home and drive a Mercedes, I am terribly sorry that you have to acquire few reusable bags. I really am.
Sheila Bene'e Lynn September 13, 2012 at 08:05 AM
I think its going really well, my husband and I bought reusable bags for each of our cars and it has not been a hassle at all (in fact they work better for groceries and I feel like I am doing at least a little something for the environment)!
Stacie Chan (Editor) September 13, 2012 at 05:26 PM
I agree, Sheila! I have several reusable bags in my car since many different organizations hand these out for free at fairs and Farmers' Markets. The only problem is I always forget to bring them into the store with me. It's a habit that I hope to slowly adopt.
Millbrae Tax Payer September 13, 2012 at 05:43 PM
I'm glad Millbrae has put a ban on single-use plastic bags. I don't want our City to look run down with garbage left on sidewalks like some areas in SF. This is just one step towards changing the way Millbrae residents might look at how we can keep our City prestine. In addtion to helping the environment, we should all be mindful of the effects our actions have on the look and feel of the City we live in. Our City, our community, is an extension of our Home. We should be proud that the City wants to keep our streets clean. Also, plastic bags are a hazard to a car's engine when they get caught in your tires and travel up to the hot engine.
Lo September 25, 2012 at 07:19 AM
Went shopping today. I didn't plan on buying much but there were a few sales. Ha! Thank you Millbrae for banning single use plastic bags. Now I get to purchase four "reusable" plastic bags for $1. What a bargain! Paper bags for ten cents. Awesome. I thought that's why we started using plastic in the first place... to save a few trees. Oxygen is important, too. No? Well, that's okay... because I prefer to rinse these plastic bags out in water since that's a better use of yet another "renewable" resource. Hmm. Does anyone re-use plastic bags that have had meat/poultry in them? I sure don't.
Bens Benpimpin October 07, 2012 at 04:08 AM
I was horrified when the Trader Joe's clerk informed me today that a paper bag would cost me 10 cents and the only plastic bag I could get was a produce bag! I refuse to shop in Millbrae but that doesn't affect Trader Joe's bottom line because they will see an increase in sales at their San Mateo store. It goes without saying that in a free market, consumers are allowed to make choices and under communism the government makes choices for consumers. Welcome to the USSA comrade!
Bens Benpimpin October 07, 2012 at 04:12 AM
You fail to recognize the fundamental principle involved. FREE MARKET = CHOICE COMMUNISM = LEGAL PLUNDER
Bens Benpimpin October 07, 2012 at 05:08 AM
I've got news for you, Mrs. Taylor. The checker at Trader Joe's had a large supply of thin produce bags for people like me who just buy 4 items at a time. So I still got my plastic bag at checkout despite the ban. Not only that, but the government cannot force litterers to suddenly stop behaving badly -- these types of social misfit litterer people tend to live in communist communities like San Francisco, San Jose, Alameda, Millbrae, etc. It is like trying to alter the laws of gravity and the government always ends up with unintended consequences.


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