Are plastic bags necessary?


Last year, the Seattle City Council voted yes for Referendum 1, a proposal to impose a twenty cent fee on people who choose to put their items in paper or plastic bags. What are your views regarding Referendum 1? Do you think your area should pass a similar resolution? Are taxes and fines the best way to encourage environmentally-responsible behavior?



Referendum 1 recieves strong support from the Seattle Green Bag Campaign.  However, the City Council faced opposition from several members of the American Chemistry Council. Opposition members mainly view the fee to be similar to an environmental tax and have created their own petition to prevent the referendum from passing.  On August 18th, Seattle residents must vote whether or not the city ought to impose the plastic bag fee.









"The Seattle City Council passed Ordinance Number 122752 concerning imposing a 20-cent fee on disposable shopping bags. A sufficient number of voters signed a petition to refer the ordinance to a public vote.



This ordinance would require grocery, drug and convenience stores to collect the fee for every disposable shopping bag provided to customers. Stores with annual gross sales of under $1,000,000 could keep all the fees they collected, to cover their costs. Other stores could keep 25% of the fees they collected, and would send the remainder to the City to support garbage reduction and recycling programs. The stores would get a business-tax deduction for the fees they collected."





Claire Thompson, an Grist Reporter wrote an article to summarize the support and opposition views regarding the Seattle plastic bag fee.



San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Australia also favor a ban or tax on plastic bags in favor of asking consumers to use reusable bags, such as those made out of polyethylene when they go out to shop.



Tucker Bags, a reusable bag company in Seattle, has launched a promotional campaign to local retail stores in addition to donating 10,000 bags to families through food banks.  A sample picture of their products can be seen below.







The Stranger, Mayor Greg Nickels, five Seattle City Council members, the 43rd and 46th District Democrats, PCC Natural Markets, Central Co-op’s Madison Market, and a host of environmental groups, including the National Wildlife Federation, People for Puget Sound, and the UW Sierra Student Coalition are all current supporters of the green bag campaign.



Perhaps you  side with the opposition who claim, "91% of Seattle residents ALREADY recycle and reuse  grocery bags. We don’t need a NEW TAX to force us to do what Seattleites already do voluntarily."



More info for Seattle City Plastic Bag Tax can be found on this article published by the Washington Center Policy Report.


Tags: Fine, Local, Plastic, Plastic bags, Policy, Seattle, Waste

« Back to Blog



Connect with Us