Seattle Slaps 20¢ Fee on All Grocery Bags

Paper or plastic, shoppers must pay up
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2008 5:20 PM CDT
Seattle City Council hopes a plastic-bag tax will encourage shoppers to switch to reusable bags.    (Getty Images )
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(Newser) – Seattle has staked out its spot atop the greener-than-thou pecking order by approving a 20-cent-per-bag fee that applies to both paper and plastic, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. The move is expected to cut disposable-bag use in half. "The best way to reduce waste is not to create it, and today, we have made that a little easier in Seattle," said the mayor.

"I think after a few months of legislation, we will wonder what all the fuss was about," a city council member told the Seattle Times. "Same as when we moved to mandatory recycling." The measure, which applies to grocery, drug, and convenience stores, goes into effect on Jan. 1, the same day Seattle bans Styrofoam takeout containers.