Letter to the editor: Speak out on bags

To the editor:

The Sustainability Advisory Board recommendation failed to include a viable exception that I brought to the attention of the sustainability director last September when the topic of a plastic bag penalty was initially introduced. It has also not been noted by anyone else.

Those with physical issues may need to shop online and then pick up an order through the drive-thru, such as Hy-Vee’s. In that case, plastic bags are the only option. Disabled or elderly individuals may also need groceries delivered, or a volunteer may shop for them. Again, plastic bags may be the only option. Putting things into perspective, a single order will most likely carry a larger penalty than the $1 fine for possession of marijuana. Food is a necessity; marijuana is not.

Decisions always evoke concern about effects on the poor, but let’s not forget the many disabled and elderly in our community who may not be indigent but will still feel the effects as noted above. While education of consumers is a wonderful start, it is sadly not always the answer. Were that true, no young person would pick up a cigarette, no motorist would drive impaired or while texting, and no one would sit in an idling car for extended periods running air conditioners or heaters.

I have made my thoughts known to members of our city government about this and additional matters. I encourage others to do the same. City leaders cannot make appropriate decisions without citizens doing their part in expressing their views and concerns.

Vicki Julian,



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