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At least our toys made here are not contaminated with lead: wait we don't manufacture anything in Washington state.... opps!

Posted by Andrew | February 27, 2008 9:04 AM

don't worry - after the collapse of our economy, china won't ship us any more plastic bags.

Posted by max solomon | February 27, 2008 9:06 AM

I want to go to war with China.

Posted by Mr. Poe | February 27, 2008 9:10 AM

Parts of India and Ireland have also banned plastic bags.

Posted by Scott Dow | February 27, 2008 9:10 AM

Nuke the sons of bitches!!! They are with the terrorists!!

Posted by Geroge W Bush | February 27, 2008 9:12 AM

it is a drop in the bucket compared to the damage they have done, but it is a good sign.

Also, That is what I love about the commies. If the decide no more bags, they just shut down the factory. Boom!

Posted by Mike in MO | February 27, 2008 9:16 AM

Washington state lags behind China on this because we are a democracy. If there existed broad consensus about this, it would happen. In a command economy, it's easier to make decisions like banning plastic bags. This won't happen here unless there is a severe culture shift because most suburbanites obviously don't want anyone telling them what kind of bag to use at the grocery store.

Posted by lorax | February 27, 2008 9:21 AM

can some one explain this? i use the plastic bags for garbage, they fit in the can and are free. if they go away, won't we then buy plastic garbage bags? is the Hefty lobby behind this?

Posted by detroit jenkins | February 27, 2008 9:22 AM

Ask those 20,000 people if China's better. Don't get me wrong, I'd like to get rid of those bags too, but it's just not that simple.

Posted by Mike of Renton | February 27, 2008 9:25 AM

Germany (and the surrounding European nations) provide plastic bags at their stores, but you are required to pay for them. A lot of people bring their own cloth bags or plastic crates when they go shopping. I think that would be a good start for this country... I did notice when I stopped at WalMart yesterday that they are now selling cloth shopping bags, and stores like Aldi and Ikea encourage you to bring your own bag by charging a fee for their bags as well.

@8, If you recycle your paper, plastic, and cans, and compost your organic trash, you won't have a need for that many garbage bags. You could also use paper, which is biodegradable...

Posted by DanFan | February 27, 2008 9:29 AM

Better yet, don't ask them. If they complain, they'll probably be arrested and harvested for organs.

What was the point of this thread, again?

Posted by NapoleonXIV | February 27, 2008 9:29 AM

@9 agreed. something like a plastic bag ban is an easy gesture that'll garner a lot of press, but I'm more worried about pollution that causes serious health and environmental problems - not just filling landfills and causing unsightly trash.

Now, if China banned personal motor vehicles, I'd be impressed. Disgusted with their lack of respect for individual rights, but impressed nonetheless.

Posted by dbell | February 27, 2008 9:33 AM

So China is kicking our ass in the meaningless gesture department. How are they coming along on greenhouse gases, then?

Posted by Fnarf | February 27, 2008 9:34 AM

In the 3rd world, plastic bags choke rivers and are literally disfiguring the landscape.

The other guilty party is plastic water bottles- but no one has figured out a work around for this.

Posted by Scott Dow | February 27, 2008 9:43 AM

Seems to me a deposit on glass, aluminum and plastic beverage containers - like many states have had since the 1970s - could have a much more substantial waste-reduction effect. Aluminum, in particular, is endlessly recyclable but uses vast quantities of electricity to produce from raw materials.

Posted by cdc | February 27, 2008 9:45 AM

They ban plastic bags, but the USA bans pit bulls AND hand held cell phones in cars (but not hands free, natch). That, plus our symboltastic 25' smoking ban puts us far ahead of anybody when it comes to meaningless gestures.

Posted by elenchos | February 27, 2008 9:47 AM

I believe it was Jared Diamond who made the point in Collapse that, as bad as China is, with their government it would be much easier for them to make drastic overhauls in policy and stop or reverse some of the environmental devestation going on there than it would be for us with all our process and checks and balances and debate and lobbyists and whatnot. Obviously there are many problems with their government, but it is easier for them to get things done should they choose to.

Posted by Levislade | February 27, 2008 9:48 AM

@14 Drink tap water. You're welcome society.

Posted by the bloop | February 27, 2008 9:48 AM

@18 - I don't think that really works in the 3rd world. For everyone in the U.S., Europe, etc., yeah.

Posted by Levislade | February 27, 2008 9:55 AM

Grocery bags are so dull. Hip Seattle should put a tax on disposable coffee cups. My coffee stays warmer in my travel mug anyways.

Posted by Mary F | February 27, 2008 10:02 AM

It's easy to do what you want in the govt when you aren't going to have to run in an election. Ever.

Posted by calvin | February 27, 2008 10:16 AM

@12, Plastic bags are more than unsightly, they are a real threat to marine life. Like all plastic that ends up in the oceans, they get broken down into smaller and smaller bits of plastic by wave action, releasing toxic dyes, and getting eaten by sea life. Plastic has now entered the food chain. Large amounts of plastic has been found in all kinds of fish and birds. This is indigestible and may block intestinal tracts. Also, what happens when this stuff actually starts to degrade in god knows how long? No one really knows what toxic chemicals the myriad types of plastic out there will become.

Posted by cmaceachen | February 27, 2008 10:19 AM

I agree - Drink Tap Water (stick it in the fridge overnight to gas out) and use your own personal water bottle. That has more impact.

And just say no to bags you don't need - or make sure you recycle them if you get them.

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 27, 2008 10:21 AM

@19 cuz all the 3rd world people are drinking evian?

Posted by the bloop | February 27, 2008 10:31 AM

This is nonsensical. Find something serious to cry about.

Posted by Chris | February 27, 2008 10:49 AM

@ 25: That attitude is exactly why the US bans Pitbulls and not plastic bags.

Posted by Mike in MO | February 27, 2008 11:13 AM

oh, and we do make toys in Washington state. quite a few firms here, actually.

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 27, 2008 11:22 AM

20,000 people employed by one factory?! That's a fuckload of plastic bags.

Posted by Paulus | February 27, 2008 12:08 PM

SF banned plastic bags as well, but with enough caveats to the rule where I don't know when I'll even notice the difference.

Ironically, I see those pink plastic bags you can only get in Chinese markets everywhere.

We should charge 5 cents per bag like some place... same goes for paper coffee cups at big chains.

Posted by Dougsf | February 27, 2008 12:12 PM

You guys know that while there is a ban on plastic bags in China... nothing has changed, right?

When you go to the store, you still get as many bags as you want. For free.

Posted by brappy | February 27, 2008 12:57 PM

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