BYOB (that’s bag) to begin in Pasadena, July 1

FILL ‘ER UP: By the end of the last Friends of the River Clean Up Day, this baby was a whole lot fuller. (Jim Burns)

Beginning of rant:

If I didn’t fish, I probably wouldn’t care about plastic bags or banning them. But, hey, I do fish, and enjoy plying our urban waters as often as I can. And that’s why I support the Pasadena single-use plastic bag ban that goes into effect July 1. Here’s some background on the decision.

You can say all you want about the evils of the nanny state, but here’s a personal review of how well our waters have fared  without our Uncle Nanny:

— item, 1998, West Fork weekend overrun overwhelms me. How much trash can anyone actually leave in a river? Take a look at these recent, enlightening photos from West Fork San Gabriel Conservancy.

— item, 2007, used throwaway diaper floats by, blind-pooping me in the leg, on Bouquet Creek. Admit to gag response.

— item, 2010, Hanging out on the L.A. River with new-found, grade-school kids who want to learn to fish. No child should have to play near trees fouled by dozens, and dozens and dozens of filthy plastic bags. Drove home truly pissed off.

So, if you’re an urbanite who is equally pissed off about the bag ban, I suggest you go down to the L.A. River, or to any of our beaches, or to the mountains and pick up some of the junk that’s been left behind. For some reason, cleaning up after others when you’re supposed to be enjoying yourself brings it home.

And if you’re a libertarian fly fisher, come up with a better solution than the ban. Not theory, somehow based on the Constitution, but something that might actually decrease the junk floating around the Southland.

Meanwhile, I’ve been hoping that either the city or local business will give bags away for a day, as the Department of Public Works folks did in La Canada last year. No word as of this writing. Once you’ve got your own bags,  just keep them in your car. It took me about three months to get tired of walking into the store sans bag. That’s what my wife calls  “training” … She’s right!

Now, about those plastic bottles …

End of rant.

See you on the river, Jim Burns

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3 thoughts on “BYOB (that’s bag) to begin in Pasadena, July 1

  1. Well said Jim, here in SA we have a pay for plastic bag policy which means that you have to cough up hard earned dough and that the plastic bags have to be strong enough for more than one use. It has cut down a great deal on plastic waste although sadly not elliminated it..All stores now sell multiuse, environmentally friendly bags too, the manufacture of which provides employment to disadvantaged communities. Plastic bags used to be regarded as “our National Flower” at one point and at least that situation has improved.

    • Man, that is sad to hear, the bit about a national flower being a frickin’ plastic bag! I also heard that in China, it’s called something like the “gray ghost.”

      I went to new bakery today and saw mugs in the window, so I asked for me coffee in one. “No, we only sell those as promotions,” the waitress said, promptly giving me my paper cup.

      We all have to wake up, I don’t know how else to put it. Thanks for the comment! — Jim

  2. Good rant and I like your blog. As a daily angler, I always take something back that I didn’t bring. In other words, I clean up someone else’s trash. I fished the surf just this morning and almost hooked a plastic bag. No fun. I do find a tad puzzling the Libertarian comment only in that political persuasion rarely means, as far as I know, “zero laws+trust the people 100%”. I think that a lot of people of all political stripes like clean spaces and object to flagrant trashing of our world. Keep rockin’!

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