The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

January 29, 2008

Oakland Bag Ban + Send a note to Zip Car!

Here are my friend Nancy, a poor seagull, and I at the Oakland plastic bag ban press conference on the steps of City Hall this morning. (I’ve got to do something about my hair soon! I’m starting to look like one of the Partridge Family boys.) It was a beautiful, sunny day: a reprieve from all the rain we’ve been having.

I thought ABC 7’s coverage of the press conference was disappointing.  They really seem to focus on the plastics industry’s arguments against the ban rather than on promoters’ arguments for it. And reusable bags barely get mentioned at all. Oh well.

On the bright side, businesses such as Whole Foods and City Car Share had representatives who spoke in favor of the ban today. Whole Foods, as you’ve probably already heard, is set to eliminate plastic bags in all of its stores by Earth Day this year.

And City Car Share has begun including reusable bags in all of its cars as a service to members. What a great idea! Unfortunately, I belong to Zipcar, not City Car Share, so I sent them an email suggesting they also provide bags. Here are my email and their prompt response:

Sent: Jan 26, 2008, at 02:31 AM
From: Beth Terry
Subject: Reusable bags in ZipCars?

Dear Zipcar:

I just read that City Car Share is now including reusable shopping bags in each of its cars to encourage members to bring their own bags while shopping rathering than using disposable paper or plastic bags.

As a Zipcar member, I would truly appreciate if Zipcar could follow suit and provide a couple of reusable cloth bags in each of its cars.

Reusable bags are not expensive and imprinted with the Zipcar logo, would be a great advertising tool for the company. And providing the bags would be a real service to your members, helping to alleviate the problem of folks forgetting to bring their bags to the store with them.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this suggestion.

Elizabeth Terry

From: “Zipcar Member Services”
Subject: Re: Reusable bags in ZipCars?
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 17:43:37 GMT

Dear Elizabeth,

Thanks for writing. That is a great idea Elizabeth. Although we cannot act on every suggestion immediately, perhaps you will see this same feature in our vehicles soon.

As you said, it would be convenient for those members that are doing errands and shopping and it also helps the environment as well. Please let us know if you have any other ideas Elizabeth.

Zipcar Member Services

members visit
or nonmembers

PS. Members are also able to submit web inquiries from the “Help” page
via the “Contact Us” screen

If you’re a Zipcar member, please use the above links to send a quick email requesting they stock reusable bags in their cars for members to use while grocery shopping. And if you’re a City Car Share member, why not send City Car Share a letter thanking them for providing the service?

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15 years ago

Oh man, this is one of the best blogs I’ve ever seen. Your environmental efforts make you pretty hot. If I lived nearby, I’d totally take you out. Seriously.

just ducky
15 years ago

Absolutely died laughing over the “Partridge boys” comment! Although I disagree with your hair assessment…I so appreciate the humor!

15 years ago

Your hotlink to the Zipcar feedback form doesn’t get processed on their site – you need to login first. People should login, then try Help -> Contact Us, then proceed.

15 years ago

I just wanted to say I think your hair looks nice in that photo.

The news coverage is *never* good, and change happens anyway. Good for you with your photogenic seagull friend showing up.

15 years ago

I’m a City CarShare member. I’ve been using the bags for months now and love the idea. City CarShare is a local Bay Area non profit. They have better rates than Zipcar and the cars they have are fuel efficient. The fact that they are helping members reuse bags shows how much they care about the environment and are clued into local policies. Perhaps you should join City CarShare and do your local shopping with their cars and use their bags–you can still keep your Zip membership. With City CarShare, it will cost less than Zipcar to do your shopping and you’ll be supporting a local non profit that really cares about the environment. (I pay about $7.50 per shopping trip and keep the car for an hour and a half–this includes mileage. The lowest standard rate Zipcar has is $8.25 per hour– if you don’t get a premium car at $11 or $13/hour!)

Cathy Mullins
15 years ago

We’re excited that the small health food store (Nature’s Food Patch) here in Clearwater, Florida has jumped on the “no more plastic bags” bandwagon and will also be eliminating them on Earth Day. Every little bit helps!

Baby steps — frustrating but necessary.

Green Bean
15 years ago

Good for you, Beth, for speaking up! It is so important – and really hard to do sometime. Glad to hear the WF and City Car will there.

15 years ago

What a great idea about the resueable bags in each car-sharing vehicle! Another idea to go along with that is that each company could get the bags specially made with the car sharing logo and website address on them to help the car sharing companies promote their service!

15 years ago

Wow – Car sharing, what a concept! We live in rural NH and even public transportation is not an option unless I was to drive 45 minutes to a more urban area to get on a bus.
I love your blog – it is so inspiring. But what a challenge, especially living in a rural area as I do! Our shopping options are more minimal, though our local Hannaford has some bulk items. I do take my reusable canvas shopping bags and my children are cloth diaper babes. However, it is so sad when I see our weekly trash is mostly plastic. I feel that it has diminished somewhat through my more recent efforts, but having children with specific needs and certain products for them are only available packaged in plastic, it is so frustrating. But your blog has made me think more deeply about what kind of world we are giving to them and what choices can I make to help diminish our impact on its demise. I have referred many people to your blog. Keep it up and, again, thank you for all that you do to keep us informed.
~Molly in NH