Letter to the Editor: Plastic bag regulation is one step in a long march

Monday, May 6, 2013

To the Editor:

I am a Shoreline resident and a volunteer for Save Our Choice. Plastic bag regulation is but one step in a long march; a march that must be stopped.

Save Our Choice is circulating a referendum petition calling for the repeal of Ordinance No. 653 (see attachment), which the Shoreline City Council adopted on April 29, 2013. After we submit the petition with the requisite number of signatures, the Council must either repeal the ordinance in its entirety, or place the referendum on the ballot for the November Election. The referendum is a vital part of the political process, and is thus protected by the State Constitution.

The City has not made a compelling case for a plastic bag ban and a mandatory "pass-through fee" for paper bags. This ordinance unjustifiably restrains trade, punishes customers, provides no provable benefit to the environment, and includes no method for measuring reductions in waste or litter. Moreover, reusable bags have not been shown to be in the best interest of the health, safety and welfare of the people of the City of Shoreline.

The Shoreline Caucus supports this campaign. Ginny Scantlebury, a representative for the Shoreline Caucus has given me the following endorsement to pass along:
As a representative of the Shoreline Caucus, I want to affirm Tom’s comments. In addition, I would like to say that this plastic ban ordinance goes against 2 out of the 3 core values that the caucus believes in strongly: limited constitutional government and free markets. In the case of limited constitutional government, we don’t think that the Shoreline City Council should even be involved in whether there should be plastic bags or not – they have more important issues to deal with. As far as free markets, we don’t think the Shoreline City Council should be able to legislate what kind of bags the stores can offer. We all know that plastic bags are the most durable and the cheapest.
Tom Jamieson


Anonymous,  May 15, 2013 at 3:54 PM  

The problem I've always had with plastic bags is this: they're not as easy to recycle as paper bags. Both types break fairly easily, I haven't done a study on that! But, to recycle a paper bag, one just puts it into their recycle bin, simple. For plastic bags, one has to bring them in to a store. If plastic bags are such a problem, then we should be looking for a way to recycle them that's as simple as for paper bags. To some extent, I agree with Mr. Jamieson, government should have better things to do, and one would be making plastic bag recycling as simple as paper bag recycling is!

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