On July 28, 2008, the Seattle City Council voted (6-1) to pass Ordinance 122752, which refers to the 'disposable bag fee'. Enough valid signatures were gathered to refer the ordinance to a public vote; this is Referendum 1, and it is being voted on on the August 18th primary (for Seattle voters). At first I thought it ideal to implement the policy--Effective January 1, 2009, all grocery stores, drug stores, and convenience stores...shall charge and collect a twenty cents ($0.20) advanced recovery fee, a Green Fee, for each disposable shopping bag provided to customers--because it would encourage people to use reusable bags for their grocery items. If you don't want to pay a surcharge, then you'll buy the (usually $3.00) reusable bag, and bypass it altogether. Sounds like a simple enough plan, right? Wrong.
If this ordinance is approved by the voters, which it shouldn't be, then we will be increasing the government spending by creating two new positions in the Department of Executive Administration--Administrative Specialist II and a Tax Auditor--and to "conduct an intensive public education and outreach campaign starting at least 90 days before the effective date of the green fee. SPU (Seattle Public Utilities) shall incorporate within that campaign, messages about the importance of keeping reusable bags clean and properly containing meat to prevent leakage."
Is this what you want your tax dollars to go towards? Do we need a program that teaches us how to use a reusable grocery bag? I hardly think so. This is an absolute waste of time and money. People are becoming more and more inclined to use their own shopping bags without this increase in government spending and red-tape. Vote to Reject Referendum 1. Thank you.
Note: all this information was provided via the King County Local Voters' Pamphlet. Read it, then vote.