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greener than THOU (not though)

Posted by hillpagan | May 14, 2008 10:19 AM

I re-use those plastic shopping bags to pick up the doodie when I'm out walking my 3 dogs - a courtesy I'm certain my neighbors appreciate.

Banning plastic bags won't save the earth - not by a long shot. The only way out of the trash mess is to invest in research and technology to recycle 100% of our waste. Also cutting down on the number of unwanted children born throughout the world would do far more for the environment than a silly measure to guilt people into using cloth bags at the supermarket.

Posted by montex | May 14, 2008 10:24 AM

I think everyone should read that book The World Without Us. Those plastic bags will, at this point, be here on this planet until something mutates to eat it.

Not just that, but plastic bags are made from oil. You know those $4 gas prices? This doesn't help lower supply.

It is all about me here and now. Not about Me in 5 minutes or 5 years.

No one seems to mind that Costco doesn't offer plastic bags, or that IKEA stopped giving them away.

Posted by mcFly | May 14, 2008 10:25 AM


You do realize their is a glass wall in most newsrooms that seperates the newsroom from the editorial department.

I realize at the Stranger it's perfectly fine to cross that line with editorial, advertising and news all in the same bed, but I think you need to make that clarification.

That said, you are pretty spot on for nailing Ramsey on his phony outrage.

Posted by Jeff | May 14, 2008 10:27 AM

Some aren't going to want to hear it but they are close to being able to make biodegradeable bags with some of the byproducts of corn based ethanol production. I know, I know, ethanol is supposed to be evil despite the fact that the bulk of byproducts are presently used as feed for livestock.

Posted by Mike in Iowa | May 14, 2008 10:33 AM

The ban isn't the solution. Its just an end to the problem, a small part to the larger solution. My Girlfriend makes totes and gives them away as presents. Everyone is happy to get em. I bike to the grocery store and just fill my backpack, but when we do take the car, I can stash so much more in those totes, and they are much easier to carry up to my apartment. Also, I work part time in our neighborhood grocery store and you would'nt believe the amount of bags people use. Like a bag for a pack of gum, no shit. Imagine the horror of just carrying that shit out yourself? People just don't think about it. Lots more totes these days though. They are beneficial in every way. And whenever I pick up dog shit in those plastic bags, I just imagine the mountain of plastic dog shit in landfills everywhere. Its gotta be as big as everest! Wheres the solution there? We don't wanna be dog shit covered France/Spain around here. If people had to pay 5 cents for those things, they would take the paper everytime or bring their own totes, what with the economy and all.

Posted by ZWBush | May 14, 2008 10:35 AM

For the record I live in Burien and I see more people with reusable bags in this community than I did when I lived in lower Queen Anne.

Posted by jewritto | May 14, 2008 10:36 AM

one more thing...our store does have the biodegradable plastic bags, but they are still oil and chemical based. And paper bags can't be made out of recycled paper, its not strong enough. They can only use a percentage.

Posted by ZWBush | May 14, 2008 10:37 AM

all the more reason to cancel your Times subscription.

except for the very re-useable PLASTIC BAG its delivered in (dog poop, again), i wouldn't miss it!

Posted by max solomon | May 14, 2008 10:37 AM

If you don't want to limit yourself to the capacity of one cloth bag... briiiing twoooo. They fold down real small so you can put bag B into bag A and then bring out bag B if bag A is not big enough. Taaa-daaa!!!

What a fucking tool.

Posted by Breklor | May 14, 2008 10:38 AM

I just can't decide.

I read a book review in The Stranger by someone named Erica C. Barnett that said trivial symbolic acts like taxing plastic bags will prevent us from taking on the big sources of plastic waste, like water bottles, because we will think we've sacrificed enough and were done. Apparently rich yuppies just love making themselves feel smug with these teeny tiny little acts of meager environmentalism and it's not acceptable because it doesn't go far enough.

But the opposite perspective comes from someone coincidentally also named Erica C. Barnett (common name I guess), who says that taxing plastic bags is a move in the right direction, and by showing leadership we can get everyone else to jump on the bandwagon. And something is better than nothing. And after all, switching to reusable bags is cheap and easy, so why not take a win when you can?

You can see why I'm confused.

Posted by elenchos | May 14, 2008 10:38 AM

If people make this much noise about something so simple, there is no way we'll be able to make the other, much more important, changes we'll need to make in order to save our civilization. We're doomed.

Posted by Greg | May 14, 2008 10:40 AM

Dear Bruce,

Please place one of those plastic bags over your head, and tie it tightly around your next so that no air can get in or out.


Posted by gcm | May 14, 2008 10:40 AM

Greg @ 12 -

Agreed. The horror of making a sacrifice! From my cold dead hands!!!!

Posted by ZWBush | May 14, 2008 10:43 AM

Ramsey is a dork, but he's right about the bags. 20Ę is too much for a plastic bag and the money goes to the store, not the city. It is free money for the store.

I too use the plastic bags to pick up dog crap and general trash around the house, and I ask for paper bags for recyclables or to throw kitchen scraps in to go in the yard waste. A plastic bag can be scrunched small enough to fit in a pants pocket, not so for a canvas bag.

Yeah, something should be done about the evils of these plastic bags. A 20Ę mandatory profit stream for large corporations (last proposal excluded small businesses) isn't it.

Posted by StC | May 14, 2008 10:44 AM

In a completely non-ironic way, I was just thinking "hey it's been a while since we went around about plastic bags on Slog."

I have changed my "container for hauling purchases" habits in the last few months because of the debates on Slog. But I'm not giving up meat, dammit, I don't care what you say.

OK, in all honesty, I haven't totally given up plastic bags, since I still use them to line my bathroom trash bins, I'm just not getting them every time I buy something.

Posted by PopTart | May 14, 2008 10:44 AM

Um, Dan, they want to charge the fee for paper bags too, so I'd say that obviates most of your argument.

@4 - who's to say that Ramsey's outrage is phony? You may disagree, but a whole lot of people feel the same way.

There was a great segment on the PBS show NOW a few weeks back where they went shopping with a low-income woman, and she had to put back the full gallon of milk that was on sale and get a half gallon because she couldn't afford the .50 cent difference.

These fees add up and will have real-world consequences for the poor. If your self-righteousness could be converted to electricity we'd be able to give up fossil fuels tomorrow.

Posted by Mr. X | May 14, 2008 10:45 AM

It's worth mentioning that most stores on the Eastside don't even offer the choice of paper or plastic anymore -- plastic apparently won a few years ago, especially for those "you cash yourself out" stations that let Home Depot or QFC avoid paying benefits to some human being. I see this proposed tax just being passed along to the consumer as one of those mysterious random charges on your receipt (like the one for the "priveledge" of using their selfserve checkout stations), and more plastic bags being used than ever.

BTW, @2, thanks for individually wrapping up your filthy animal's droppings so they are preserved in plastic wrap for future generations. If Seattle really wants to get green, let's take a hard look at the obscene waste of resources that is pet ownership.

Posted by Just Sayin' | May 14, 2008 10:46 AM


We agree that Ramsey is an irredeemable, stupid, mule-headed, right-wing asshole.

But charging for bags is the dumbest fucking idea ever, and you and that idiot Erica are just as bad for pushing it.

On Vashon Island, there's a better idea. The Thriftway there gives customers a 5 cent discount for providing their own bags. That's the way to go -- giving customers and stores an incentive, rather than this top-down, nanny-state, punitive shit.

Charging for bags won't work. It will be sabotaged, and stores will not enforce it.

You think I'm blowing smoke? Here is exactly how it will happen.

A customer gets to the cashier, with a cart full of merchandise. The customer says to the cashier: "You have two choices. Either you waive the charge for bags or I walk out of here and leave this cart full of groceries for you to restock. What's it going to be?"

You know damn well what it's going to be. Twenty cents against the cost in time and wages for restocking the shelves for a grocery store, already running on a thin margin?

And who's going to enforce this for the city, and at what cost?

Just for the record, I always carry plenty of doubled-up paper shopping bags, or heavy-duty cardboard boxes, and I use them everywhere.

I don't give a shit if they ban plastic bags. That is a separate issue. But we will defeat charging for bags, and you can take that to the bank.

Posted by ivan | May 14, 2008 10:46 AM

@2 - Well, if you got rid of your 3 dogs and their associated fecal matter, you wouldn't have any need for those plastic bags...jeez man, start being part of the solution.

Posted by Hernandez | May 14, 2008 10:47 AM

They'll need to pry this plastic bag from my cold, dead hands! (Too soon?)

Are they taxing both paper and plastic or just the plastic? I like to reuse the paper bags for garbage.

Posted by kebabs | May 14, 2008 10:51 AM

Hope you're enjoying the view from up there on your soapbox, Dan. And oh, BTW, Planet Ark's bullshit claims to the contrary, there are very few (less than a handful) documented cases of any marine life being harmed by plastic bags.

Posted by Kaktus | May 14, 2008 10:51 AM

The Food Co-Op in Ann Arbor does the discount thing if you bring your own bags. We use cloth bags; it's not that difficult.

Posted by Michigan Matt (soon to be Balt-o-matt) | May 14, 2008 10:52 AM
A customer gets to the cashier, with a cart full of merchandise. The customer says to the cashier: "You have two choices. Either you waive the charge for bags or I walk out of here and leave this cart full of groceries for you to restock. What's it going to be?"
In New Jersey, yes. In Texas, yes. In Seattle? No. People do not stand up and deliver an ultimatum in Seattle. They run home and blog about what they should have said.

I actually don't mind this thing, even if it is a trivially small amount of plastic waste being saved. I went ahead and put in that septic tank in my back yard for the dog and cat poo, so I don't have that much of a use for plastic bags any more. And I'm downgrading to a tiny 12 gallon trash can, which should give my jealous neighbors fits.

Posted by elenchos | May 14, 2008 10:53 AM


Many stores already offer a discount. It's not helping. And your scenario is ludicrous. You really think a Seattlite would behave that way? Please.

Posted by keshmeshi | May 14, 2008 10:57 AM

But I don't WANT to use a cloth bag!!!

Posted by Paulus | May 14, 2008 10:58 AM


In Seattle? No. People do not stand up and deliver an ultimatum in Seattle.

I think you need to get out more.

Posted by ivan | May 14, 2008 10:59 AM


Many stores already offer a discount. It's not helping. And your scenario is ludicrous. You really think a Seattlite would behave that way? Please.

Just because you're a wimp doesn't mean everybody in this town is.

Posted by ivan | May 14, 2008 11:04 AM

The fact that so many, even on the slog, are so angry at the prospect of having to slightly alter one tiny aspect of their lives just goes to show that people don't often change their ways unless pushed to do so. I'd rather see an outright ban of plastic grocery bags, and a tax on paper, but the proposed tax on both is better than nothing. You don't want to be taxed for plastic bags? I'm already taxed to take care of your plastic bags. They don't go away and very often they don't go where they are supposed to so someone has to go clean up the mess they make, or they just float forever out in our oceans. You people are just petty. You say there are bigger concerns? Of course there are. But how does that effect whether or not we should tackle this one. There is no one problem and no one solution. And dog/cat shit? Use a small paper bag. More revenue for the store? Bullshit. It will drastically reduce plastic bag use. That's the idea. Little plastic/paper bag use, little revenue for the store.

Posted by cmaceachen | May 14, 2008 11:06 AM

Thanks Dan Savage for the Great Topic!

Ya, what a Waste plastic bags are and as a person who GUILTY-LEE uses them from the food bank or the lunch sack program at Northwest Harvest.

I must CONFESS that sometimes I weep with purging sorrow over the fact that...


Don't the producers of arguments against cloth sacks and homeless persons understand that when you...

" OUT OF SIGHT OUT OF MIND! " ( which of course means not in my back yard...)

the problems of trash, wasted human spirit and gifting become terri-torial.

The fact that so much of our worlds population believe in compartmentalization and compaction of problematic solution solving that when a real issue like...


become trivialized by real issues that effect us as much as petty grievances.

By the Way.... speaking of petty grievances....

I have had a problem with what I perceive may be soon be catagorized in a new buzz word phrase...

"anti affected weather control who is the creep disorder sorter..."

I think this is some new kind of "tech-knowl-edgy" that the military or the prison system is developing to HELP combat nervous reactions to the war on Iraq...

...and also the Fact that President Bush wanted us to buy our way out of world debt...

and speaking of a lot of debt...

I just sent an e-mail to Republican Representative Bill Grant of WA. asking him about his territory in and around Walla Walla State Prison.

My therory is that we are suppose to resist the temptation not to JUDGE others and still reserve the right to take a crazy ivan or too with our subs... remember the movie about rabbits and chickens don't you?

Any way it may seem like a weird conspirocy theory that we are not to entertain or blame...

.....yet I can't help feel selfishly sorry for Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson every now and again.

You friend and local muk-raker and signer of the IMPEACH GEORGE W. BUSH campaign for reassignment of the redistributable wealth foundation.(aka robin hood the danny gate good)

p.s ( the foundation is FICTITIOUS just in case anyone in the sedition portion of the state thinks there is illegal campaign donations undisclosed at the highest level of HIGH CRIMES AND MIS-DEMANORS.


as a female loving male recluse who understands the delicacies of kiss and tell...

Please tell all my friends on the telly with Bill that if you can't lick them... kill them....

....Stamps for gay Jesus that is...

it can be our new bumperslogan sticker and you can print them for free if you want them ....

.... it's my gift to you at the stranger from a hetro-anti-metro-ite who is stuck in the flow of inexpensive transports.

Posted by danielbennettkieneker | May 14, 2008 11:11 AM

Why are you fighting this fight?

Seriously ...

Want to help the environment? Use more public transit and bike/walk when you can.

But plastic bags? You're fighting an upstream battle.

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 14, 2008 11:14 AM

StC @15,

I know, I know, actually doing any substantive research before shooting off your mouth is awfully difficult for most people - but just FYI, YOU'RE WRONG! Large stores will only be keping 5-cents from each bag (enough to cover the admin costs of collecting and paying the fees), the city gets the rest.

Posted by Willis | May 14, 2008 11:15 AM

Also, biodegradable plastic bags are rarely truly biodegradable. They are made of a resin held together with plant starches. The starch degrades, but the resin does not so you end up with microscopic bits of plastic that make their way that much easier into waterways and the food chain. Microscopic bits of plastic that will exist until geologic forces change them into something else or something evolves to eat digest them.

Posted by cmaceachen | May 14, 2008 11:16 AM


"You need to get out more" is what people who have no argument say when they don't want to give up. Admit it: you got nothing.

Posted by elenchos | May 14, 2008 11:17 AM

@11 Yr doin it rong

Posted by Binkie | May 14, 2008 11:17 AM

Yet again, I donít understand why this is an issue for anyone. When I shop at Whole Foods (which has a 10 cent refund for bringing your own bags), I bring my own bags. When I shop at Aldiís(which charges you for bags), I bring my own bags. The couple of cloth bags I own were freebies (so it doesn't cost me more), but mostly at this point I bring paper or plastic bags that I have saved. Penalties and incentives work. I donít understand what all the fuss is about.

Oh, and I have a dog, and use plastic grocery bags to pick up its poop. If Chicago banned bags, Iíd have to fork over an additional couple of bucks for more environmentally friendly dog poop bags. Or use a pooper scooper. Or do what elenchos didwith the septic tank. Oh, the horror.

Posted by Julie | May 14, 2008 11:17 AM

Why stop at plastic bags? Let's consider what a pulp mill does to the environment. Let's impose a tax on those that buy or subscribe to the newsprint edition of a newspaper. Let's impose a small tax on the publisher of a free weekly for every newsprint edition he distributes.

Posted by Luigi Giovanni | May 14, 2008 11:20 AM
On Vashon Island, there's a better idea. The Thriftway there gives customers a 5 cent discount for providing their own bags. That's the way to go -- giving customers and stores an incentive, rather than this top-down, nanny-state, punitive shit.

What? Are you suggesting the city just beg and plead for every store to adopt the own-bag discount, or are you saying the discount should be mandated?

The first idea is dumb because it will never happen; some stores will hold out. The second idea is dumber because it's essentially going to have the same effect as a plastic bag tax - grocery prices will rise to reflect the cost of providing a bag - but the city won't collect any revenue from it.

Posted by tsm | May 14, 2008 11:23 AM

I should add that when I go to a store without penalties or incentives, I forget to bring my own bags probably 80% of the time. It's the penalties and incentives that make me remember.

Posted by Julie | May 14, 2008 11:24 AM

@31, they aren't mutually exclusive, you know. It's entirely possible that someone could take a bus to/from the store WHILE using cloth bags. Amazing, I know.

Posted by cmaceachen | May 14, 2008 11:25 AM

Actually, wait, grocery prices won't "rise"; we're paying for plastic bags anyway right now. But they'll still reflect the cost of providing bags, so you pay more if you use one and less if you don't.

Posted by tsm | May 14, 2008 11:26 AM

All you have to do is reverse the perception from cloth bags being some green hippy thing into conspicuous consumption. Print up some Armani or Hummer branded bags and start the meme that people who use plastic bags are poor. You'll see every soccer mom that pulls into the Whole Foods parking lot, alone in an 18 foot Suburban, hauling out five Coach branded cloth bags.

Posted by skweetis | May 14, 2008 11:26 AM

Newspapers need to ditch their editorial writers and hire reporters who actually leave their desks and write about local news. The public doesn't care about one man's opinion.

Also, it's not that hard to give up the plastic bag habit. Paper liquor bottle bags make a good shit-mitt too.

Posted by Bruce B Gone | May 14, 2008 11:29 AM

I see it's time to flush more plastic six-pack rings down the toilet.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | May 14, 2008 11:30 AM

This has never been about plastic bags or saving the earth. From the beginning, this has been an attempt by the city to grab yet another revenue stream under the guise of "going green."

The city is realizing it can't afford to pay for ridiculous projects (like the SLUT) on top of its regular budget during lean times -- so naturally, instead of cutting back, it just hits up the public for more cash.

Posted by joykiller | May 14, 2008 11:30 AM

Why is this even controversial anymore?

  1. The "poor" who would be "burdened" by the 20-cent tax don't have to pay it. They can continue to reuse the same plastic bags every American has at least 3 million of tucked away in a cabinet somewhere.
  2. Tax both paper and plastic, or ban them outright, I don't care. This isn't something that should be left up to the consumer or the market. The impact of short-term decisions based on convenience will screw us in the long run.
  3. Why is pet ownership even a part of this discussion? I use a plastic bag to scoop cat shit, but if I had to pay for those bags I would probably do something else, like use paper bags I paid for. Pet ownership is an expense, you pay for food and other things, so why not pay for cleaning up your pet's shit too?
  4. Nobody is going to be successful in threatening to boycott grocery stores so they won't have to pay the 20-cent fee. Nobody is that juvenile. People could do that today about all kinds of things - "I want you to charge me less for this gallon of milk" - "I want you to throw in a free copy of People magazine or I'm leaving this cart of groceries here!" - yet nobody does that, because they would be laughed out of the store.

Really? There are still people who take any of these arguments seriously? What a bunch of pathetic whiners.

Posted by DavidG | May 14, 2008 11:33 AM

@43, unfortunately, the public would rather read the opinion of someone they agree with than have to read the news and form opinions and arguments themselves.

and on your second point, I always knew more drinking was the answer.

Posted by cmaceachen | May 14, 2008 11:35 AM

Michael Pollan wrote in the NY Times that even small acts contribute -- ever so slowly -- to an overall cultural shift to making saving the planet the new paradigm:

"The Big Problem is nothing more or less than the sum total of countless little everyday choices, most of them made by us (consumer spending represents 70 percent of our economy), and most of the rest of them made in the name of our needs and desires and preferences."

Posted by Buckywunder | May 14, 2008 11:41 AM


"You got nothing" is what people say what THEY have nothing.

Posted by ivan | May 14, 2008 11:43 AM

It is so very little to ask of anyone, why the fuss? Most grocery stores give a small discount for bringing your own bag. If you have to pay for a bag most of the bag charge goes to the city, so where is the downside? I keep two re-useable bags in my satchel. If I had a family I'd carry more, anyone can do it. And yes, plastic bags do harm marine life @22. Sea turtles eat them and get obstructed bowels and die. They collect in mats on the seabed and smother everything beneath. They clog sewer drains and unlike leaves do not degrade. And for you dog lovers: why use a whole plastic grocery bag for a piece of dog crap? Buy some smaller bags, they are cheap and consume less plastic per use.

Posted by inkweary | May 14, 2008 11:50 AM


Grocery stores have all heard of the old "you have to re-shelve this stuff" trick. They aren't going to fall for it, and they'll see you coming next time. Stop being stupid.

Posted by elenchos | May 14, 2008 11:53 AM


I'm not a wimp. I do, however, notice that 99 percent of people in town are wimps. They do not take a stand over anything, let alone a 20 cent charge on a plastic bag. And what will make Seattlites take a stand over something so trivial when people in other cities and other countries haven't? As I said, your scenario is ludicrous. You need to get out more.

Posted by keshmeshi | May 14, 2008 11:57 AM

I love that Trader Joe's has the sign by the elevator that says "Did you remember your reusable bag?" Reminds me to run back to the car for mine. Very helpful in reshaping that habit. Reusable bags are something like $.79 each nowadays, and some stores even give them away for free so you'll carry their advertising with you wherever you go. This is a non-argument. We need to stop it with the disposable crap lifestyle, and this is the first step. Hopefully soon we can tackle plastic beverage bottles and start figuring out how to incorporate end-of-life recycling and reuse into product design.

Posted by NaFun | May 14, 2008 12:11 PM

I am honestly flabbergasted that this is even an issue. The idea of getting disposable bags at stores isn't even that long-established a habit. People always used to bring their own bags. What is the big fucking deal about bringing your own bags? If you forget, fine, pay the $.20 per disposable bag. If you don't, nearly every store gives you a nickel credit for your own bags. I have about 10 big cloth totes. I take all of them when I go to Costco, because I hate having to dispose of all the cardboard boxes otherwise. Why is it such an issue at the grocery, and not at Costco or Ikea?

It's just habits, folks, not inalienable rights. It's not even that hard a habit to change. It's not like cloth totes take up a lot of space in a backpack or a trunk. I very rarely get the disposable bags - only when I need more trash-can liners - because I hate having bazillions of them around the house.

I honestly don't understand why people are so up in arms about this very minor change of habit.

Posted by Geni | May 14, 2008 12:14 PM

Oh, and I'm like the laziest person in the world, so if I can remember a cloth tote, anyone can learn that habit. All my cloth totes have paid for themselves many times over by now, with the nickel credit per bag per trip.

Although it does gripe me that they don't give me credit for how many plastic bags they don't have to give out - the plastic bags are so flimsy, I can fit about the equivalent of 5 plastic bags' worth in each cloth tote, so I think I should get about a quarter per trip.

Posted by Geni | May 14, 2008 12:16 PM

@43: Given the proliferation of bloggers, pundits, etc., the idea that "The public doesn't care about one man's opinion" is pretty laughable.

Posted by tomcat98109 | May 14, 2008 12:25 PM

While we're going so Nanny-Statist, why don't we impose a 20 cent recycling tax on every piece of junk mail we receive in a day, as well?

Posted by NapoleonXIV | May 14, 2008 12:41 PM
Within weeks, plastic bag use dropped 94 percent.
If I recall correctly your mayor also wants a tax on paper bags, if nominally recyclable paper bags need to be taxed, how about weekly newspapers? I mean, there is the internet after all, in fact how about you give me a nickel when I read the Stranger on the web (Fred Myer gives me a nickel when I use my own bag)
Posted by Epimetheus | May 14, 2008 12:42 PM

@57, I'd totally approve of charging a tax to the senders of junk mail.

Posted by tsm | May 14, 2008 1:00 PM

But that wouldn't teach personal responsibility, would it?

Posted by NapoleonXIV | May 14, 2008 1:05 PM

I just got back from swimming and I was thinkin about this certain link. Now I can't find it... And I never find any pictures either...

and that Nanny state stuff is some Bill O Reilly style argument I usually only hear from right wing anti taxers. I say we tax junk mail out of existence too, great idea!
Love ZW

Posted by ZWBush | May 14, 2008 1:10 PM

this ones good too...

takes a long time to watch all of em though

Posted by ZWBush | May 14, 2008 1:16 PM

ivan: Cool! I'm going to try that. I'll go into a QFC and demand they waive the sales tax or they'll have to restock the shelves!! Give me 50% off or I'll crap on the floor!! Give me a free candy or I'll cry like a baby!!

You and me, we're no wimps.

Posted by wah wah wah | May 14, 2008 1:29 PM

For the most part I agree with the tax. I think it's a great solution to one of many pollution problems. I have a cloth bag in my car but sometimes forget to grab it on my way in. The cloth bag really sucks for picking up dog poop though. Paper's even worse. I hate the idea of buying plastic bags to clean up after my dog when I can currently get them for free but the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few so let's go for it.

Posted by Colin | May 14, 2008 1:49 PM

I'm from Ireland, and I'm glad to see my country getting credit for its successes. The plastic bag tax was definitely one of them. Yes, people grumbled, but in the end they realised it wasn't that much hassle, and the benefit to the environment, particularly in terms of pollution (this was an anti-litter initiative) was worth it. I think there's a lot to be said for the feel good factor of knowing you're helping. When people feel personally involved in things like recycling they're more likely to take interest in wider environmental issues. I hope your politicians can stand their ground and show real leadership on this.

Posted by Allison | May 14, 2008 1:50 PM

46, 51, 52, 53:

Scoff at me if you want. I couldn't care less. I flip you all the bird. We'll see how succesful it is, if they even have the stones to do it. I'm saying they won't, and if they do, it will fail.

Posted by ivan | May 14, 2008 2:31 PM

Sorry, I meant @63, not @53.

Posted by ivan | May 14, 2008 2:32 PM


More likely scenario - people who find this law intrusive and annoying start shopping outside of the Seattle city limits (and they might just be willing to use a little extra on gas to do so - the horrors!)

Posted by Mr. X | May 14, 2008 2:43 PM

@68 That, also, is retarded. Why would anyone pay dollars more in gas to save tens of cents on bags? They won't.

Posted by NaFun | May 14, 2008 3:04 PM

man I can't believe how upset people are over the loss of their precious plastic bags. do people realize how juvenile this sounds? need bags for your dog? buck up and go buy some! use something else! your perceived right to get a free container for your dog poop doesn't trump the colossal amount of waste generated by plastic bags that effects everyone else, not to mention the marine life it kills. and yes, it actually does despite some of the armchair claims above that it doesn't. literally tons and tons of plastic end up in the ocean year after year. it breaks down into little pieces and becomes impossible to remove, but fish and birds sure like to eat it.

also supermarkets are not going to be making a killing on $0.20 bags, because first of all they are currently giving them away and eating the cost so the whole bag part operates at a loss. and secondly, 90% of the gripers here will have re-usable bags once they figure out they pay for themselves if you go to the grocery store more than five times in your life.

Posted by chunts | May 14, 2008 3:41 PM

I kind of like the idea of a "plastic bag deposit" like some states have on glass and plastic bottles.

No one seems to complain about those.

Posted by Chris | May 14, 2008 5:40 PM

Woops, sorry I'm late...

There will be bag!

Posted by CP | May 15, 2008 9:28 PM

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