Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Referendum 1 - Bag Fee Fun

The debate on the bag fee has been going around the city for a while now, mostly prodded on by the Seattle Green Bag Campaign's appearances at big events like the Solstice Parade with their infamous mascot, the Bag Monster. On one side: eco-studs, the ever feisty People for Puget Sound and the Seattle City Council. On the other: 7-11 Inc., the American Chemistry Council (whose members include Dow Chemical and ExxonMobil), people who like using plastic bags to pick up dog doo, and those who think yet another nanny-state style fee is stupid.

Even with a line-up like this, a lean, green writing machine like myself has to sit back and think - would this fee really do what it's supposed to do, or will it be yet another token attempt at sustainability?

The thing that's been tipping the issue for me has been the bag fee's opposition. Namely, the the amount of money the American Chemistry Council has been willing to pour into opposing a fee that is sponsored by the itty-bitty Seattle Green Bag Campaign and their wee $65,000 fundraised thus far. The ACC threw in $500,000 last Friday, bringing their anti-bag fee contributions to a grand total of $740,000.

What this suggests to me is that the ACC sees the bigger picture. Even if the projected 70% drop in bag use by Seattle residents isn't enough to bother them, something else is. Maybe it's that they think initiatives pioneered in Seattle gets spread across the country. Maybe they see this as a sign of things to come, a turning against our current disposable way of life. Either way, if Big Oil and Big Chemical are willing to spend this much money to oppose it, the bag fee's probably worth supporting.

UPDATE: The ACC's contributions to the anti-bag fee campaign now come to over $1 million. Wowzers.

1 comment:

  1. The ACC picked a fight with the wrong city!