The Seattle City Council today approved the measure imposing a 20 cent fee on plastic and paper shopping bags, to encourage the adoption of reusable bags. The council also passed a ban on use of foam containers by businesses that serve food.
The City will distribute reusable bags, and the per-bag fee will start in January 2009. Then the choice of whether to pay the fee is up to the individual shopper. As the next mayor of Seattle, Richard Conlin, says: "You only have to pay it if you choose not to use reusable bags."
The foam ban has three phases. This coming January, restaurants and the like will have to stop using polystyrene and styrofoam. Then a year after that, all other plastic containers and utensils must be replaced by biodegradables.
Grocery stores will have until July 2010 to get rid of foam meat/seafood trays.
YAY! to the council for passing the foam ban unanimously!
BOO! to council member Jan Drago for being the lone vote against the bag fee.
Coverage: 20¢ bag fee approved; Seattle approves bag fee and foam ban