Letter To The Editor: Close The Open Forum Survey On Plastic Bags

By JOYCE ANDERSON
Founder, Save the Bag: Los Alamos

I was very disappointed to see that the open forum on the plastic bag ban was reopened this week. When I asked the Environmental Sustainability Board’s staff liaison, “Why?”, she told me, “to give more people a chance to answer.”

I am calling foul on this. The original survey was open for four weeks and had over 400 on forum responses — which is more than any other open forum survey results. The open forum survey was also well publicized by local media, as well as by my group, Save the Bag: Los Alamos. I assume that the Sierra Club advertised it among their membership as well.  

If people did not take the opportunity to answer during the original four week period, they should not get a “do-over”. This action is an attempt by supporters of the plastic bag ban to get results that favor their position. It also makes the Environmental Sustainability Board look biased in support of a bag ban and tax.

In regard to the results of the original open forum, 80 percent of Los Alamos residents do not favor a ban on light-weight multi-use plastic shopping bags. The comments were also interesting as well. 

The pattern that emerged showed that people want more information and more education so they can make their own decisions on this issue. People do not want to have their consumer choices taken away, or have the lifestyle choices of a small and unrepresentative minority forced on them. Los Alamos wants “education not legislation”! 

Respondents to the original open forum also felt strongly that this is a waste of time and that the County should be focusing on more important issues. I agree wholly with this. Los Alamos is dying, and we are quibbling over what kind of shopping bag we carry our groceries home in?

The members of Save the Bag: Los Alamos, respectfully ask that the Environmental Sustainability Board and County Council close the survey and let the original results stand.  They speak for themselves, that people in Los Alamos do not want a ban on light-weight multiuse plastic bags. We also ask that the Environmental Sustainability Board and County Council table this issue and move on to the important issues facing our community.

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