I'm happy to announce that as of January 1st, Seattle will be implementing a $0.20 disposable bag tax (both plastic AND paper) at all grocery, drug, and convenience stores. That means, if you don't bring your own and aren't willing to carry your items out of the store in your bare arms (which I have actually done), you'll be charged 20 cents for every bag you need. There are arguments on both sides of the issue. Many say forcing the issue on people isn't the way to get them to comply, and the only member of the City Council to oppose the measure argued that it was unfair to the elderly and low income residents to impose the fee; however she said she would have been ok with an all out ban. Maybe it's just me, but I don't really get that logic. If bags were completely banned (which I would be ok with) wouldn't the elderly and low income residents still be at a disadvantage? Arguments aside, I personally think it is a great idea. The city is planning on giving away one bag to every resident, and these days even Safeway has reusable bags for $.99. A small price to pay for helping the earth, I think.
But that's besides the point. The point is, Seattle is taking a big step towards becoming greener. On a side note, they are also banning plastic foam food and drink containers. Finally.
I've been a convert to BYOB (bring your own bag) for quite some time now. I love my NEITHER canvas bags that are always stashed in the car for my grocery or market runs. One area that was difficult for me however was my produce. I was still using those darn plastic bags for my lettuce, apples, etc. I'd bring them home, wash them out, and reuse them as much as I could, but I still felt guilty using all that unnecessary plastic. I purchased a few mesh bags about a year ago, and have been using those- but we buy a LOT of fresh produce, my 4 little mesh bags weren't cutting it for my weekly grocery runs. I needed more. So, I was extremely happy when I stumbled upon Bag Green produce bags. Of course I could have just ordered more of my mesh bags which were serving me well, but Bag Green is made right in my own back yard on Bainbridge Island! They are super cute, work great, and Heather packages them in newspaper for mailing. She's super green, and I love it! (These pictures I took when they arrived a few weeks ago don't do them justice.)
If you live on Bainbridge, or even if you don't but are in the market for some produce bags, check out Bag Green and know that you are helping make a difference!