retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the California Supreme Court has “agreed to decide whether a city can ban plastic bags at retail stores without studying the environmental effects of the increased use of paper.

“The court's unanimous vote to review a case from Manhattan Beach (Los Angeles County) will not affect San Francisco, which enacted the nation's first citywide ban on nonbiodegradable plastic bags at supermarkets and chain drugstores in 2007. But the ruling will affect other cities considering such measures, including Oakland. The city passed an ordinance similar to San Francisco's in 2007 but dropped it after a judge blocked its enforcement in response to a lawsuit by the plastic bag industry.”
KC's View:
At issue here, in essence, is the nature of scientific and/or environmental accuracy. Environmental activists say that disposable plastic bags contribute to considerable ocean pollution, while the plastic bag industry maintains that increased use of paper bags comes with its own environmental implications.

Seems to me that evaluating environmental implications ought to be a basic requirement before passing environmental regulations...but we all know that this kind of due diligence isn’t always in the cards for some governmental institutions. Though from my point of view, the whole thing gets solved if people would just bring their own canvas bags. I’m not nuts about legislation that requires reusable bags, but one would hope that people could be nudged in this direction.