Tag Archives: plastic bags

So How Would You Spend $1,431,259?

Over the next 18 days the American Chemistry Council will finish spending all of it’s $1,431,259 against Referendum 1. Referendum 1 is a measure to charge a 20 cent fee for throwaway bags at large stores in Seattle in an attempt to reduce waste and pollution.

According to the American Chemical Industry, Referendum 1 is the Seattle government’s attempt to steal people’s money by forcing them to pay an outrageous 20 cents for a bag if they forget to bring a reusable bag when they go to the store.

Let’s just ignore the fact that the plastic bag industry makes an incredible estimated $4 billion each year in the United states from selling those “free” plastic bags you get at the grocery store. Who do you think pays that $4 billion? Could it be out of the pockets of consumers like you and me if we use plastic bags instead of bringing our own reusable bags?

So spending $1,431,259 is a small cost to them to try to preserve their profit making business.

Here’s some of what the Campaign Against Referendum 1 has reported they are spending money on:

63,970 phone id calls… $51,035

2 ads in Seattle Times … $43,154

Seattle Times.com … $25,000

PI.com… $40,000

produce 60 radio spots… $9,351.46


3 tracking polls… $64,000

website design … $8,935

conduct 1000 interviews, CHAID and cluster analysis … $35,000

build voter file… $24,800

mailers to 105,000 voters-production… $41,881

4,700 voter registration letters… $11,156

22,140 Recruitment Mailers Production … $17,830

Consulting – Pacific Issue Mgt… $20,000

Develop blogging campaign… $5,000

GC Strategic Advocacy Retainer … $80,000

105,000 Mailers – Production… $51,375

Postage 105,000 mailers… $51,375

Email program -list match … $4,998

graphic design and programming … $12,900

graphic layout … $5,400

copyrighting services … $5,882

Blog strategist … $882

Travel/office expense… $9,886

copyrighting services… $5,882

postage for recruitment mailers… $6,810

postage for mailers … $27,795

e-mail program 3 rounds of e-mail blasts… $8,250

e-mail Program – Copy and design… $5,300

There’s more but I think you get the idea.

So are you convinced yet? I think our local Seattle economy could use a little bit more economic stimulation before we should call uncle and give in to their oil profit motivated propaganda.

Vote Yes on August 18, 2009 on Referendum 1 and keep some of that $4 billion in spare change in your own pocket that they take from US consumers each year by pushing throwaway plastic bags .

Go to the Seattle Green Bag Campaign website to get more information about the citizens campaign to pass Referendum 1. They ask that you “Send a Message to Big Oil: Hands off Seattle. Vote Yes on Referendum 1.

Campaign Against Seattle Bag Fee Tops $1 Million Dollars

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.

Grocers Join Mayor Nickels in Supporting Reusable Bags.

“Choose Reusable” seems simple but the plastics industry will be spending lots of money opposing the referendum slated for the August 18, 2009 Primary Ballot in Seattle. The American Chemistry Council of Arlington , Virginia has raised some $239, 453 to date and 7-Eleven has added $10,000 to the campaign.
Most of this money was spent last year to pay signature gatherers to collect signatures to put the 20 cent bag fee ordinance on the ballot. Expect a lot more money to be spent touting the convenience of throwaway bags that the plastic industry makes money off of but which frequently wind up as litter and waste resources. The plastic bags are made from petroleum.
Mayor Nickels in recently kicking off the campaign to get voters to vote for reusable bags stated in a press release that “Both paper and plastic disposable bags harm our environment, and every year, residents in Seattle throw out 360 million of them. That’s simply unsustainable. Bringing your own bag is an easy way to make a big impact. This campaign will help shoppers with the toughest part: remembering to bring your reusable bags to the store.”

What is interesting is the number of grocers and other stores that have joined with Nickels in promoting reusable bags at their stores. Here is a list of stores joining the “Choose Reusable” voluntary public-private partnership from the Mayor’s press release: Albertsons, AmazonFresh.com, Bartell Drugs, Cartridge World Seattle, ChicoBag, Fred Meyer, Hilltop Red Apple, JCPenney, Kress IGA Supermarket, Madison Market, Magnolia Thriftway, Metropolitan Market, PCC Natural Markets, Promenade Red Apple, QFC, Safeway, Seattle Lighting, Shoreline Central Market, Supervalu, Target, Town & Country Ballard Market, Town & Country Greenwood Market, Tucker Bags, Unified Grocers, Uwajimaya, Village Market Thriftway, Wal-Mart, and West Seattle Thriftway.

Also supporting the effort is the Seattle Chamber of Commerce. Nickels press release notes that the following “organizations and businesses are donating reusable shopping bags to low-income families through the city or nonprofit organizations: Seattle Public Utilities, Northwest Grocery Association, Tucker Bags, Washington Food Industry, Bartell Drugs, JC Penney, Target, Wal-Mart, AmazonFresh.com, ChicoBag, Cartridge World Seattle, and Seattle Lighting.”

This is a good way to get people used to bringing their own bags. The more people that are already using reusable bags, the more advocates and public examples there will be for supporting the bag fee on the August 18, 2009 Primary.
Reusing bags ultimately says the consumer and the grocery stores money. Bags are not free. Grocery stores buy them and you pay for them in your overall grocery bill. And you pay for them in landfill disposal costs which go up as more waste is thrown away.
Many stores have been selling reusable cloth bags for $1.00 each. Use it 5 times and you will be saving 20 cents each time you use it again after that when the 20 cent bag fee passes. It takes a little while to get in the habit of remembering your bags when you shop. But our family still uses a couple of canvas bags we purchased some 20 years ago from PCC in Seattle.