Friday, August 17, 2012
Seattle Plastic Bag Ban Failing
Just six weeks into Seattle's plastic grocery bag ban, it's clear the measure is failing miserably.
Since July 1st, the day the ban went into effect, Seattle media have done exactly one story on the impact of the plastic bag ban. Even this article says 50% of people are buying paper bags.
An inconvenience for literally every person living or visiting the city, the law is merely conditioning people to use paper bags and not reusable ones. I see few canvas or plastic bags being carried on the street but paper bags are everywhere, especially in the trash. These pictures were taken by me at a friend's house. It's hard to see with all the cardboard boxes but there are dozens of paper bags in there.
Watch the Seattle City Council next year raise the paper bag cost to 10 cents or even a quarter. They will claim the law is a remarkable success but needs further improvement. This prediction is not clairvoyance on my part. It's what happens every single place this dumb idea is tried. Read about San Francisco's plastic bag ban extension.
Until this law passed I almost never saw paper bags thrown away on the street. Now I see them all the time on sidewalks everywhere, especially broken ones like this lonely bag at the corner of 3rd and Union in the heart of downtown Seattle.