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Week 44 – It’s just not my bag, baby!

August 9, 2009

On August 18th, Seattle residents will have the opportunity to let their voices be heard regarding the Seattle Bag Fee.  Referendum 1 is a $.20 fee per bag on all disposable bags at grocery, drug and convenience stores.

After reading all the pros and cons of this particular referendum, Ben and I will definitely be voting a resounding “YES!”

The argument which is being pushed by out of state chemical companies is that people do reuse these plastic bags and that Seattle is already over-taxed in these trying economic times.

I do agree on both points but at the same time the pros for the referendum outweigh the cons.  For example, if you bring your own reusable bags, you will NOT pay anything.  Ads seem to lean towards the fact that you will be paying this fee with every purchase at the store.  This is not true.  These fees will be in place  to promote people to use their own reusable bags instead of the plastic bags the stores provide.

Some organizations have stated that in the long run there is no long-lasting effect of this bag fee.  This is also untrue.  These bags can last up to a 1000 years in our environment!  Other states have adopted similar programs and have seen a significant drop in plastic bag consumption.  Ireland, which is where we modeled our referendum, has seen a 90% decrease in plastic bag consumption.

Seattle uses more than 300 million of these bags per year which end up in our oceans and littering our streets.    Ben and I have been filling buckets with litter for almost a year now and have picked up hundreds of these plastic bags.

Sure, it’s a bit of on inconvenience to remember to bring reusable bags to the store, but it is an even bigger inconvenience to pick up these disposable bags every week.

The polls seem to show that this will be tough referendum to get passed, so vote “YES” on referendum 1 or please support similar legislation in your city. It’s not in the bag…yet!

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One comment

  1. You guys are terrific!!! I heard you on Air America Radio this morning and found you articulate and compelling. Thanx.



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