On August 18th Seattle voters rejected a referendum that would have made Seattle the first city in the nation to tax shoppers 20 cents for each disposable paper or plastic bag they received from grocery or retail stores. City Council last year had approved the tax, but a petition effort forced the measure to appear before voters.
Eco-supporters hoped the fee would encourage residents to reuse plastic bags several times or to purchase reusable canvas bags, helping to keep paper & plastic out of the landfills and reducing greenhouse gas emissions all and all.
I understand both sides of this issue. I truly wish that the 20 cent tax would encourage majority of shoppers to reuse plastic bags. However, chances are that most shoppers would just dish out the extra money in support of convenience and time saving efforts. Therefore, a more effective strategy would include conveniently placed plastic bag recycling/reusing stations at most stores and/or rewarding those who choose to utilize reusable/recycled bags.