The Seattle City Council has just voted 6-1 to assess a 20 cent per bag fee on disposable shopping bags. The fee goes into effect January 1, 2009, allowing time for a 3 month educational campaign. A ban on plastic foam food containers and cups (excluding meat trays) also passed 7-0.
Free reusable shopping bags will be distributed to people on fixed incomes and people receiving supplies at food banks and homeless shelters.
Seattle’s Mayor Nickels has been pushing for the ban as a way to reduce landfill waste. A similar ban in Ireland resulted in a 90% decrease in the use of disposable bags, and street trash. Although the plastic bags are recyclable, Seattleites only recycle 13% of them.
Another aspect of Mayor Nickel’s campaign to reduce plastic trash is to ask people to stop buying bottled water. How crazy is it to spend $0.79+ on a pint of bottled water (and future plastic trash) when some of the finest drinking water in the world is available on tap at 1/3 of a cent per gallon?
What’s your city doing to reduce consumption and landfill needs?