Skip to comments.Enviros, plastic industry ready to battle over bag fee (Seattle)
Posted on 04/01/2009 1:05:06 PM PDT by jazusamo
Can the "Greens" compete against some serious green -- as in cash?
On Aug. 18 Seattle voters will decide whether they want to impose a 20 cent-per-bag fee on plastic and paper grocery bags sold in the city. Backers say the fee will help the environment. Industry opponents say it is expensive and unnecessary.
Those supporting the bag fee are counting on Seattle's green-friendly electorate. If recent history is any guide, opponents will be counting on vastly superior monetary resources.
The Coalition to Stop The Seattle Bag Tax -- a group funded largely by the American Chemistry Council -- had raised nearly $250,000 by the end of February, according to Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission.
Most of that money -- $239,000 -- had already been spent. The group paid to gather signatures to put the bag fee question before voters.
The anti-bag-tax group has $8,720 left in the bank, but could presumably raise a lot more.
By comparison the Seattle Green Bag Campaign -- a group promoting the bag fee -- had raised just over $3,000 by the end of February and spent most of that. The group had just over $600 left in the bank.
The local Sierra Club chapter is one of the groups that will be working to pass the bag referendum. Spokesman Brady Mounts said supporters aren't intimidated by the disparity in financial resources.
"Sierra Club environmentalists are very rarely in the situation of having remotely as much money as their opponents," Mounts said. "They have a lot of money, we have a lot of people."
The fee on disposable bags originated with Seattle's citizens, Mounts said, because people were concerned that they were ending up in landfills.
Seattle Pubic Utilities has estimated that 360 million disposable bags are used in the city each year. The 20-cent fee would add a few dollars to weekly grocery bills, but is expected to cut the number of bags used by half. Proponents of the bag fee say similar programs in Ireland have cut plastic and paper bag use by 90 percent.
"Seattle citizens wanted this, advocated with the City Council and worked to get a law passed. That's how change happens," he said. "The nice thing about grassroots campaigns is you can use what you have, which is a populace which cares about protecting the environment."
But Keith Christman, senior director of packaging for the American Chemistry Council, said the city's own polling shows that three out of five Seattle residents are against the idea of a disposable bag fee.
"We think Seattle residents will look at this and say we don't need a punitive tax to do the right thing for the environment," said Christman, adding that surveys show 91 percent of city residents already reuse and recycle plastic bags. He said the industry encourages people to reduce bag use, reuse and recycle them.
Christman said in this tough economy he doesn't think families will want to pay hundreds of dollars a year in additional fees to use plastic bags. He also said such a tax could severely affect the recycling infrastructure for other plastic products not covered by the disposable tax ordinance -- things like plastic wrap around dry cleaning, soda cases and newspapers.
Though San Francisco has banned plastic bags, Seattle would become the first major city to place a fee on disposable bags if residents approve the measure. "No other city has a adopted a tax on bags at this point places have proposed it and considered it (but) given the current economy decided it wasn't the best approach." Mounts, of the Sierra Club, says the plastic industry opposes the fee because it will cut into their profits. "They want the money," he said. "We don't want the money. We want people to stop using (paper and plastic bags) and pay no money."
I hope they are successful getting rid of this dumb tax.
Hey screw it. Vote for more and higher taxes for no gain at all to you.
bunch of morons.
I would simply not bag a damn thing - just cart the stuff out to my car.
Next, you can tax something else for no gain whatsoever.
Yep, it is just another TAX ON THE POOR. Real Smart Libs/Progressives - Keep taxing the Poor.
My only positive is that the city actually gets to vote on this. If over 1/2 the city believs a 20 cent tax is appropriate then i guess ok. Its when politicians pass these kinds of taxes becasue of lobbying, thats what gets me.
P.S, if it does pass, i bet their will be a huge shopping center just outside the city limits with lots of new customers, they will probly be smuggling laundry degerent as well
This is not surprising for Seattle, there’s too many moonbat enviros with nothing else to do but come up with ideas to put another tax on everyone.
If they pass a bag tax how are any of the commies up there gonna have sex?
I thought the greenie-weenies WANTED US to use plastic instead of paper bags to save trees?????????
Yep, that was their thing some years back but the plastic has given them another cause to fight for.
I wonder whether the best way to fight this bag tax is to characterize it as a tax on the “elderly and disabled.” They’ve proposed this in Massachusetts (of course), and the first thing I thought of was that anyone who had a back problem or was elderly could not carry those big cloth bags. They’re far too heavy. I hurt my back a few years ago, and although I’ve recovered, this is the first thing I thought of when I heard about the bag tax. Of course, I called the office of the pol pushing the bag tax and his aide was positively oozing sympathy over the phone. After all, they can’t say, “We don’t care. We want the money!”
The elderly and those with back problems/other physical disabilities would be forced to pay this tax in order to use the plastic bags, which are smaller. I suppose the elderly/disabled could buy a couple dozen small cloth bags, but it would be worth a try to paint it as a tax on the elderly and disabled. Maybe we’d get the bag tax and subsidies for certain people to buy small cloth bags. It never ends.
Those tofu chewers up here make my dog hide between my legs.
I am convinced that “Greenies”and leftists are insane. They will never stop demanding more compliance with more asinine laws that they engineer. They just can’t be satisfied. They are deranged.
The arrogance of this guy saying that they don’t want the money from the tax on bags, they want people to stop using bags, makes me want to puke. This stuff starts in places like Seattle and San Francisco, but it spreads.
There is going to be a war in America. It can not go on the way it is going. Freaks like the ones in Seattle voted for Obama. He will do their heavy lifting because he is as deranged as they are. He plans to push the envelope until we break. When we do there is going to be Hell to pay.
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“I would simply not bag a damn thing - just cart the stuff out to my car.”
LOL!!!!! That is what I do at Costco!! Works for me.
Then when everyone is taking a basket instead of bags they will have to buy more baskets due to the increased demand!
Probably will then charge a fee to use a basket, LOL
(Follow the money...)
Good job, GOP Poet...Looks like you drew a moonbat troll out of their hole to make their first post! :-)
They can’t help themselves. Freedom is like Kryptonite to the totalitarian left.
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