Danny Westneat kinda-sorta supports the city’s efforts to limit the use of plastic grocery bags…
It’s well-meaning. We chuck too much plastic.
… but Danny chafes at what’s necessary to enforce a new ordinance…
Don’t you think do-gooder Seattle could reduce its bag usage without inspectors? Tax auditors? A small, but new, layer of bureaucracy?
I dunno… maybe. I suppose national supermarket giants Kroger, Safeway and Albertsons, along with other chains and hundreds of local retailers might come to the table and work out a viable voluntary plan with the city, and I guess that might be preferable to mandating a 20-cent bag fee. But they haven’t yet, and citing Danny’s Australian example, I don’t see what incentive they would have to do so in the absence of the city threatening to act unilaterally:
There the government and the grocery association hatched a deal to get rid of plastic bags — voluntarily. According to a report for Seattle by Herrera Consultants, 90 percent of big Aussie retailers signed up — in part because if they didn’t, the government threatened a more top-down program. Much like the one we’re about to do here.
Could there be better alternatives to addressing the problem, and would the mayor and the council consider them? Sure. But as of now the industry has yet to step forward, preferring instead to relentlessly complain about the economic impact and consumer inconvenience, while hoping the bag fee proposal ultimately collapses under its own weight.
See, that’s the catch with the kind of voluntary program that Danny prefers: it requires volunteers. So if we want to solve this problem and avoid the expense and inconvenience of a bag fee, it’s time for all those do-gooders in Seattle’s grocery industry to step up and offer a viable plan of their own.
Roger Rabbit spews:
Not to worry! Plastic bags are made from petroleum. If oil prices keep going up stores soon will slap customers who want plastic bags with surcharges. That’ll take care of it.
My Goldy Itches spews:
Unbelievable. Only in Seattle.
Roger Rabbit spews:
Boeing Gets Another Crack At Tanker Contract
As expected, the Pentagon will re-bid the $35 billion aerial tanker contract. Also, the Secretary of Defense will oversee the bidding process, reflecting a lack of confidence in Air Force procurement management.
I cannot believe this crap is going forward. Anything the bluenoses consider a sin is getting regulated and taxed. It’s like somebody’s grandma was elected to every position in City Government. Except she’s some wacky strict religion and flunked out of 3rd grade.
So short of a voluntary system, Goldy is in favor of a brigade of bag police to ensure compliance? Interesting.
Goldy, you mention Kroger.
As a matter of fact, Fred Meyer stores already knock a nickel off the bill if the customer brings his or her own bags (or doesn’t need a bag at all) and sell reasonably-priced canvas shopping bags at the checkstands.
I didn’t notice the last time I was in one, but I believe QFC stores do the same thing.
One thing I’d like to see all stores do is bring back paper bags in the produce and bulk-food departments. That and get rid of the silly sprinklers that make everything all wet and glistening (not to mention the incredibly dumb “thunderstorm” sound effects in the Safeway stores).
This is in fact another prime example of Seattle’s present one-term mayor taking a really good idea (encouraging people not to use “disposable” plastic shit) and turning it into a ham-fisted draconian clusterfuck.
And yeah….he’s our fault. We liberals voted for him, because we thought he was the better of two admittedly dismal choices. I don’t know about the rest of my fellow Seattlites, but I’m sure as hell not going to make the same mistake again. Well, not unless Tim Eyman runs against him–but he can’t, because he doesn’t live here.
Uh, no. Seattle policemen regularly visit grocery stores while on duty, either as part of their patrols, or simply to pick up something for their lunch. They could simply ask for the manager, and write out a ticket. Just like they would do if they saw someone illegally parked in the handicap spot out front.
And that doesn’t even count the off-duty officers who, presumbably, have to go to grocery stores on a regular basis who could say “Gee, don’t you know those plastic bags are prohibited now? If you don’t get rid of them, I’ll have to write you a ticket when I come by tomorrow”.
You hear this same complaint every time there is a tax or business regulation. Sometimes it is correct – like toll roads or bridges, which require an infrastructure to be built to collect the taxes. That’s one of the reasons I would just rather they raise the gasoline taxes to pay for all transportation improvements, rather than use tolls. But most of the time, it doesn’t require much additional work to enforce minor regulations such as this.
After all, you don’t see the right-wingers truing to justify the creation of a new bureaucracy to enforce a ban on gay marriage, do you?
Actually, I’ve got my hands full dealing with the politicians in Everett. I’m going to leave this issue to those actually in Seattle to work out.
Richard Pope spews:
Mayor Nickles wants to charge 20 cents per bag “Green Fee” on PAPER grocery bags as well.
I have a much better idea: a “Green Fee” on newspapers and magazines. There is a LOT more paper used everyday for the Times and P-I, than for grocery bags.
I would suggest a “Green Fee” of at least $2.50 per pound on newspapers and magazines, with a minimum charge per item of $1.00.
That way, much less paper will be used to actually print newspapers, and people can simply read the newspapers on-line.
Actually, if you read my post, I didn’t take a position on the bag fee proposal. I implicitly acknowledged that there’s a problem to be addressed, and that a voluntary program might be preferable, but that it’s up to the industry to come forward with an alternative plan. But then, you don’t really read my posts before commenting, do you?
I thought we were already paying Frank Blethen’s “Green Fee”…? Oh wait… that’s his “Greens Fee” I was thinking of. My bad.
Hahaha. Are you serious??
Seattle cops don’t respond to stolen car reports, car break-ins, and other crimes where there’s not a chance of encountering a perp. You want them to be the shopping bag patrol??
How about we take the City’s 4 new recycling inspectors and add shopping bags to their beat?
My previous post in no way supports the idea of a “green fee” on shopping bags, to go boxes, plastic forks, etc.
I still think it’s a fucking ludicrous idea.
9 The temptation to make some snarky comment about donuts is positively excruciating.
As far as paper bags are concerned, it might be argued that the environment is best served by maintaining a healthy market for forest products. Absent that, we’ll see more and more forest cut down “one last time” and paved over into subdivisions and industrial parks.
There was an article in the PI a couple of days ago detailing how the Wall Street shysters are pressuring the management of Weyerhaeuser to get the rest of the way out of the forest-products business and convert the company into a REIT!
ArtTheBrainFart: The moisture from the silly sprinklers helps keep the vegetables fresher longer and their skin from drying out.
Than again you weren’t the sharpest knife in the drawer!
I like the paper bags with the handles. They recycle to make great gift bags. A little wrapping paper on the top of the gift and voila, gift delivered and easily carted away by the recipient.
The plastic bags make great car bybygoober (garbage) bags. Easily thrown away when the bybygoober reaches epic proportions.
18 Hey, Einstein, then explain to me why the lettuce in Metropolitan Market (or any number of other places), which isn’t soaking wet, is fresher than the stuff at Safeway.
19 What’s to say you can’t re-use either paper or plastic bags?
I’m going to try an experiment. I’m going to try and not be a troll for a few days.
Ever heard of packaging? Number of lettuce heads per crate? Ever heard of time when picked from the field to the market? Ever heard of storage conditions? Besides, since lettuce is usually in a sealed bag how will the water get to the lettuce?
Roger Rabbit spews:
@14 “Hahaha. Are you serious??”
Why not? You fuckers are serious about letting the government rifle through our library records — and throwing librarians in jail if they tell us about it. You vote for nazis but bitch about a shopping bag patrol?! That’s funny.
23 Uhhhh…then if the lettuce is wrapped (if you’re talking about head lettuce), why spray water on it?
Other stores don’t “wet down” their produce, period–romaine and leaf lettuce, chard, green onions, carrots, and so on…and their stuff is nice and fresh. Safeway, on the other hand, frequently has inferior-quality produce, but makes a big show of squirting water on it, complete with sound effects. (How the hell does playing recorded thunder enhance “freshness”?)
This is marketing, just like the bit in Oh, God where John Denver’s character gets hassled about not “oiling the cukes”.
Go back to your seat, Pudwax. You don’t have the slightest clue what you’re talking about.
So, in a city where people boast about the size of their house, love to talk about exotic travel, and buy cars with batteries the size of Montana, I have to recycle plastic bags to make them feel better about themselves?
Sure I will, when Nickels starts bicycling to work. How recyclable are those Prius batteries? How much energy is wasted heating Mayor McCheese’s 4000 sq. ft. home? Do all the “environmentalists” who travel to Fiji or Thailand swim to get there? How about all those plastic toys they buy their kids? Are those recyclable? How much energy is wasted on that empty SLUT? Or the water fountain on 4th and Pine? Or the water fountain of a man peeing on a boy at the sculpture garden? No really, there is a statue of a man peeing on a boy at Broad and Alaskan Way. Because in Seattle, the BS ends wherever money begins. That is why there will be no tax on private jets in Seattle. Only on the grocery bags for the great unwashed.
Once again BrainFartART@25 doesn’t read. What does “time when picked from the field to the market?” mean?
You are a sad excuse for a 16%er. Uhhhhhhh….