Leading endorsement groups are forming a mostly united front to support upholding the disposable shopping bag fee—Referendum 1—despite a handful of business interests working to repeal it. Today the Seattle chapter of the League of Women Voters announced that its executive committee was endorsing a vote to approve it. The group, with only one dissenting vote, argued that the ordinance is a sensible means to control litter and reduce waste.
Other groups agree. Those gunning to reduce the plastic in the waste stream—who don’t have a financial stake in the bag fee—include the 43rd and 46th Legislative District Democrats, Metropolitan Democratic Club, The Stranger, Publicola, a slew of environmental groups and elected officials. You can read the complete list over here.
In contrast, Stop the Bag Tax spokesman Adam Parmer said this morning that he couldn’t name any endorsing organizations. No endorsements are listed on the group's website. But he named several groups in the coalition, taking pains to mention that they represent local business interests, such as the Korean American Grocers Association, the Washington Association of Neighborhood Stores, and the Independent Business Association. He conveniently omitted mention of the American Chemistry Council, which has tossed a record-breaking $1.3 million into its puppet campaign. But when we asked Parmer about the plastic lobby’s contributions in an endorsement meeting last month, he admitted flatly, “Obviously, plastic bag companies have an interest. I don’t think it’s surprising that companies with an interest will spend money to protect it.”
The Seattle Times plans to release its endorsement on the bag fee on August 9. Given their absurd fear mongering on the issue, I’m not expecting a thoughful endorsement—but we’ll see if they come down on the side of reason or the side of the plastic lobby’s greed.
This was a tough one, as both sides made excellent points. On the one hand, environmentalists who know about things like "science" and "dead sea mammals" have researched the issue thoroughly and say that the 20-cent fee on disposable shopping bags—the proceeds of which go partially to the stores and partially to fund recycling programs—would help decrease the number of plastic bags currently piling up in landfills, or being downcycled to shittier plastic bags and then piling up in landfills, and, eventually, slowly disintegrating in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch until they resemble tiny, delicious plankton particles that fish mistake for food but are actually POISON.
On the other hand, plastic-bag companies want more money! Waaaaaaaah!!! Do you want to see plastic-bag companies and chemical corporations cry? ON THEIR BIRTHDAY!?