This New Plastic Bag Ban is Making You Crazy

These days are in the past
These days are in the past

Nevada County, CA The plastic bag wars have begun. As Jefferson Davis once wrote: “If the Plastic Bag Ban falls, there should be written on its tombstone: Died of a Theory.”

“We totally agree with that sentiment,” exclaimed long-lost sister of one of our most famous local families, Janeta Painter. She recently surfaced at a Christmas reunion in Nevada City, and the Painters are overjoyed at her return. “She came back just when we needed her, this plastic bag issue has really given all of us a lot to reflect upon,” wrote David Painter in an exclusive email to Gish Gallop news team earlier this morning.

GMLWA, before it became SPD
GMLWA, before it became SPD

As The Union reported today in their morning edition, Grass Valley and Nevada City have slightly different versions of their plastic-bag banning ordinances. In Nevada City, the city council wisely chose to follow the California legislative norm and banned all plastic bags, as well as requiring that all retailers charge 10 cents for their bags. The Grass Valley City Council, however, decided to allow retailers the option of not charging for grocery bags. As previously reported by Gish Gallop, the plastic bag tax in Nevada County is directly funding Governor Brown’s bullet train project. Go figure.

For SPD, with stores in both Nevada City and Grass Valley, this left them in a conundrum.

“We decided to charge all of our customers the 10 cents for a bag, even though large chain grocery stores like Raley’s decided to take advantage of the Grass Valley City Council’s weird idea that they could set a policy for their town that wouldn’t affect the surrounding area.” Gish Gallop asked newly appointed Mayor Jason Fouyer for comment, but only received imperceptible tapping sounds, accompanied by “…is this mic on?”


For most Nevada County residents, however, the biggest inconsistency for them was the inconsistency of the decision. For the minority, like Grass Valley resident Tommy Empire, they went the other way. “You ask ‘why make it different?’,” wrote Empire in a recent email. “Why the heck not? Let the free market gets its freedom. Let Raley’s compete with SPD fairly. SPD has incredible customer loyalty that was built up over the years, whereas Raley’s is just another corporate chain, like Safeway and Save-Mart. The non-locals need a break.”

In another direction, SPD officials are indicating interest in expanding into Penn Valley with another store.

“What really draws us there is if the Penn Valley City Council votes in the next couple of months to get rid of the plastic bag ban within their city limits. That way we would have three local jurisdictions to work with in formulating our plastic & grocery bag policy,” wrote another member of the Painter family, who spoke to Gish Gallop on the condition of anonymity. “That would be awesome, people wouldn’t have to head down the hill for plastic bags, they’d still be able to get them there in Penn Valley.”

A county dividealexisd against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half bag and half no-bag.” Abraham Lincoln

And now we are faced with the possibility of three different bag policies in Nevada County. With the City of Truckee not yet weighing in, we could even potentially be heading for bag policy number four. Alexis de Tocqueville will have the last word:

“But one also finds in the human heart a depraved taste for equality in bagging, which impels the weak to want to bring the stronger stores down to their level, and which reduces men to preferring equality in servitude to inequality in freedom”.

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