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  • Seattle Succumbs to Latest Eco-Fad, Bans Plastic Bags

    The plastic bag police scored a victory in Seattle this week. The liberal enclave imposed a ban on plastic bags and a 5-cent tax on paper bags, joining other major cities in the latest nanny-state crackdown sweeping the nation.

    Seattle’s ban applies to all grocery, retail and convenience stores. It exempts farmers’ markets, however. The ordinance takes effect in July 2012.

    Seattle’s action comes three years after the City Council tried to impose a 20-cent tax on all bags. That idea was shot down by voters in a referendum. It’s unclear if the new ban will also be challenged at the ballot box.

    Environmentalists left little to chance before this week’s vote. Supporters dressed in plastic bag costumes and serenaded the City Council about the supposed dangers of the 100 percent recyclable plastic bags.

    “Reducing the use of single-use plastics, like bags, will make a difference for the health of wildlife in Puget Sound and out in the Pacific,” said Heather Trim, policy director of People for Puget Sound.

    But others questioned if Seattle’s new law would live up to the environmental benefits touted.

    Marc Gunther, a senior writer for GreenBiz.com, argued that plastic bag bans aren’t based on science and suggested recycling could be a more attractive alternative. He also noted that bag waste might not be as bad as the anti-plastics lobby implies.

    One of the largest U.S. plastic bag manufacturing and recycling companies certainly believes that’s the case. Mark Daniels, vice president of sustainability and environmental policy for Hilex Poly, told the New York Times that Seattle’s approach was “badly misguided.”

    “Moving consumers away from plastic bags only pushes people to less environmentally friendly options such as paper bags, which require more energy to produce and transport, and reusable bags, which are not recyclable,” he said.

    In addition to exempting farmers’ markets, plastic bags will be allowed at food banks, and for use with produce, bulk foods and meat, according to the Seattle Times. Restaurants can use plastic bags for takeout and low-income individuals won’t have to pay the 5-cent tax on paper bags.

    Seattle, usually known for succumbing to eco-fads first, follows other municipalities like San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Portland, Ore., which already have bans or taxes on bags.

    Posted in Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    20 Responses to Seattle Succumbs to Latest Eco-Fad, Bans Plastic Bags

    1. Jim says:

      I live in NYC and there has been talk about a similar law from nanny Bloomberg. We use the plastic shopping bags as trash bags and the smaller bags for emptying the cats' litter box. If they were to ban them then we would be forced to buy plastic garbage bags.

      Or, they could bring back building incinerators.

    2. Jenny says:


    3. leon hatcher says:

      i guess i will take my own boxes from sams club ,another way to tax us, why not instead of crushing the boxes the foodstuff comes in put them up front and let us use them. on the other hand do i want to reuse a non-recycable bag that probaly has germs from last i used it such as the leaking hamburger package or something leaking .are the cleanable the green bags !nlm

    4. waggdogg says:

      The plastic bag police scored a victory. But what about the white plastic kitchen trash bag. Let's ban that. What about the big black trash bag? Let's ban that and just burn our trash in our back yards!

    5. Bobbie says:

      paper bags aren't recyclable?… besides that, when is government authority stepping in so deep called tyranny?

    6. PrairieHawk says:

      How are they going to administer the exemption for "low-income individuals" from the 5-cent tax? Will people have to bring a copy of last year's tax return to the grocery store? Move to the Upper Midwest where this madness hasn't settled in (yet).

    7. JackKinch1uncle says:

      Seattle Succumbs to Latest Eco-Fad, Bans Plastic Bags. A lot of such silliness as this was never thought of until the country become overpopulated with and by dimmos. Nomobama swore to protect our borders and is ignoring them. and worse. AND breeding millions of deadbeats on welfare.

    8. Liberal=FAIL says:

      The Eco-Fascists in Austin, Texas are in the process of trying to pass an ordinance to ban paper and plastic bags. It will likely become a law.

      • bigjet says:

        In the great state of TEXAS, you have got to be kidding!

        All funding to that city needs to be halted asap or that city needs to move to one of the other socialist, marxist states where their freedom/liberty hating vermin are located.

    9. Gwynn says:

      Please don't include all of us in the NW with the Seattle liberals and the crazy Seattle politics.

    10. Fixall says:

      Here we go again, another take over by the Gov't dictating another bad regulation. Check out "Ban the Bag" sight on the internet and see how recycling can solve the problem better than the Gov't. When are the these so-called officials going to open their eyes instead of living in their own little world? Please check out the sight I mentioned, "Ban the Bag"

    11. corky66 says:

      I always try to put my trash out properly and I pay a tax for road side pick up. I use plastic bags in my hobby room to collect my wood/plastic leftovers. Now, if the "nanny's]" of this Country wish to tell me what to do I will simply take TRASH out in the country and DUMP IT. Keep pushing me and the reast of the AMERICAN PEOPLE into a corner and we will react and not always in a good way. Why not simply sit down with manufacturers and see if they cannot come up with a biodegradable plastic bag?? DUH!

    12. Linda says:

      We have a similar ban in Long Beach, CA already. We have to cart reusable bags to the store with us or pay .10 for paper bags. How long until the reusable bags spread germs/contamination from reuse? We also are required to microchip our pets, for whom we are caretakers, not owners.

    13. Sandi says:

      Is it really a right/freedom to be able to have your store-bought purchases put in a plastic bag? Really? Folks, before plastic bags, people did other things like bring baskets and their own bags to the store. It isn't a right to use a "down-cyclable" plastic bag. It was a privilege. But that privilege, as it turns out, actually kills other creatures, clogs storm drains and takes a really, really long time to decompose – getting into the soil and our food chain. And plastic isn't recyclable over and over like glass or newspaper. It can only be re-cycled once or twice and then ends up in the environment anyhow – again getting into the food chain. Listen, liberals aren't freedom-haters. We just see the effects of what we're doing and understand that it's not all about the individual and/or the almighty dollar. I wish liberals and conservatives could come to a meeting place and start talking instead of attacking.

      • saveamerica says:

        If it's available, it's a choice. The hazards are exaggerated. If you put a plastic bag over your head you'll die also. the government has no role here. This should be a discussion between the business and a credible source!

    14. sailorguy says:

      Meanwhile, plastic debris fills up the ocean. Reap what ye sow, humans!

    15. sailorguy says:

      Meanwhile, plastic waste will continue to pile up in our oceans. Until "market forces" halt their over-use? Taxes and fees have been used for a long time to limit the use of certain products, practices. I side with ocean ecology here! In Michigan, we keep trash down with our returnable bottles. And we like that law!

    16. mahmoud says:

      The liberal enclave imposed a ban on plastic bags and a 5-cent tax on paper bags, joining other major cities in the latest nanny-state crackdown sweeping the nation.

    17. Annette says:

      Don't succumb to the stupidity we are in Washington; this is insane and ridiculous. Not ecologically minded, either…fight this better than we do. Plastic gets recycled more than the newsmakers and protesters think…they should see how low income people wind up reusing these bags until they break…and then some.

    18. Steve says:

      Plastic Bags? Is that the best you can do?
      Let's ban all plastic!
      A plastic bag weighs 1/10 of a gram.
      There are 270 pounds of plastic in your car.
      Every toy your kid has is 95% plastic.
      The lap top you are using right now is 92% plastic.
      Plastic is fossil oil and chemicals bonded permanently and can not be recycled.
      80% of the fossil oil used is used to produce plastic.
      If you really want to make a difference, Stop using plastic products. Try to use metal where you can.
      All metal is 100% recyclable.
      Lets wise up and start taking better care of Earth

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