I get the default reaction to Burbank's soon-to-be-proposed ban on plastic shopping bags. I understand the warnings of "nanny state" and "Big Brother." This is the right reaction in a democracy where government should fear the people and not the other way around.
What I don't understand is the vehement adherence to this belief regardless of facts, especially on the subject of plastic grocery bags and the multi-angle method around which local groups are trying to reduce plastics' environmental impact.
Last week's community meeting on banning plastic bags was organized by Burbank Green Alliance. Since it was their party, they set the guest list: Speakers from the Natural Resources Defense Council, Save the Bay, an environmental representative from Los Angeles, which has its own ban about to go in effect, and Burbank's recycle center.
Conspicuously absent on the panel: Anyone to present an opposing view. To her credit, Jessica Aldridge, executive director of Burbank Green Alliance, did an excellent job of making sure every audience question was asked — including breaking her own rule of reading only our hand-written questions to give one resident time to speak.