Thursday, February 10, 2011


ONE OF THESE DAYS...: The motto of the true babooze is “don’t confuse me with the facts.”

For our purposes it doesn’t really matter whether he’s merely too lazy to look at Ordinance 885 and read the record or hell bent on misrepresenting his effort to gut the plastic bag ban.

Either way Councilmember Mel Rapozo’s efforts are an affront to rationality.

After yesterday’s first reading the bill now heads to a public hearing where Rapozo’s “amendment”- which doesn’t seem to be posted at the county’s web site- will no doubt be further ridiculed.

And sensing he’s fighting a losing battle, it’s apparent that Rapozo is going to try to use lies and obfuscation to essentially end the ban.

In a comment on the article in the newspaper Rapozo wrote:

This article failed to mention the most important component of the amendment. Food service establishments will be required to use biodegradable/compostable plastic bags. These bags will help to protect the environment while addressing the issue of food safety.

Bullsh*t Mel.

First of all, if he had bothered to read the ordinance and the record he’d have found out that we don’t really ban plastic bags. But we have a stricter standard than simply “biodegradable” which is a nebulous terms that has allowed bags that are not really “biodegradable” to be used in other jurisdictions where bans on non-biodegradable bags are in effect.

Our ordinance requires two things of any plastic grocery bags. As we wrote last October as part of our extensive coverage of the development and passage of the ordinance:

The ordinance allows only "biodegradable bags" which according to the ordinance “means a bag that (1) contains no polymers derived from fossil fuels; (emphasis added) and (2) is intended for single use and will decompose in a natural setting at a rate comparable to other biodegradable materials such as paper, leaves, and food waste.”

And, as we detailed, that type of bag is not yet being produced anywhere in the world, according to both researcher Brad Parsons- who spent a week on the phone ascertaining this fact and also the Department of Public Works (DPW) which therefore currently has zero acceptable bags on their “list.”

This leaves a “de facto” ban unless and until someone begins selling non-fossil-fuel-containing bags- which is possible since, as Parsons found, there are materials out there that could serve the purpose only no one is currently manufacturing them into bags.

So either one of two things are true.

Either the amendment doesn’t do anything at all and keeps the current definition of ‘biodegradable bag” and, in essence continues the effective ban or, more than likely (as we said the bill isn’t posted anywhere) it changes the definition of biodegradable to mean those bags that actually aren’t.

What passes for biodegradable bags these days are bags made with fossil fuels that simply break up into little pieces. They still don’t truly “biodegrade” for thousands of years. The only difference is that they are broken into tiny specks of plastic which many say is even worse for sea life which is now more likely to wind up with a clump in their belly with bite-size pieces floating around.

So either Rapozo is actually trying to change the definition, which would effectively lift the “ban,” or he’s not changing anything and the ban will continue- the latter of which is unlikely.

We'll have more after viewing the meeting but either way this whole thing is a waste of time and energy and the product of a regressive mind where Rapozo thinks he is not just entitled to his own opinion but his own facts.

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