It’s Plastics. For those who remember Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate it’s definitely plastics as to where the money is. Last Friday the American Chemistry Council dropped $500,000 into it’s Stop the Bag Tax campaign. And a day ago they added another $300,000.
Except for $10,000 from Seven – Eleven, The American Chemistry Council has now contributed almost all of the $1,042,794 targeted against Referendum 1.
Referendum 1 is about a 20 cent fee on paper and plastic bags in major grocery stores. The idea is to provide an economic incentive for people to use reusable bags. Referendum 1 is on the August 18, 2009 Primary ballot in Seattle.
Here is some information on plastic bags from http://www.reusablebags.com/
•The production of plastic bags requires petroleum and often natural gas, both non-renewable resources that increase our dependency on foreign suppliers. Additionally, prospecting and drilling for these resources contributes to the destruction of fragile habitats and ecosystems around the world.
•Annual cost to US retailers alone is estimated at $4 billion.
•When retailers give away free bags, their costs are passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices.
•When plastic bags breakdown, small plastic particles can pose threats to marine life and contaminate the food web. A 2001 paper by Japanese researchers reported that plastic debris acts like a sponge for toxic chemicals, soaking up a million fold greater concentration of such deadly compounds as PCBs and DDE (a breakdown product of the notorious insecticide DDT), than the surrounding seawater. These turn into toxic gut bombs for marine animals which frequently mistake these bits for food.
•According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. (Estimated cost to retailers is $4 billion)
Reusable bags will save consumers money and reduce waste. It may be a minor inconvenience to get used to remembering to take your bags with you when you go shopping but it is a step in trying to live more environmentally. Vote yes on Referendum 1.