Collecting signatures to reverse Shoreline's plastic bag ban

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Add Tom Jamieson and Ginny Scantlebury.
Photo Shoreline Area News

Tom Jamieson and Ginny Scantlebury picked a sunny day on Saturday to collect signatures to repeal Shoreline's upcoming plastic bag ban. Their table was in front of Haggen Fresh grocery and drug store.


Janet Way June 24, 2013 at 12:11 PM  

Why is this group going against the grain of Shoreline's Sustainability Vision?

And why is Haggen allowing this petition process when they've explicitly supported the Plastic Bag Ban?

Do the petitioners think they have a constitutional right to a free plastic bag? Do they expect retailers to always give them free bags? Why don't they want to honor the will of the overwhelming number of residents here? Why wouldn't Shoreline want to be green like most of its neighbors? And why should we listen to the Shoreline Caucus/TEAparty who is aligned with the plastic bag industry?

Shoreline is the home of the Shoreline Solar Project, a progressive Democratic delegation and Legislative District, and numerous green projects like the new Farmers Market, Community Gardens, and watershed groups.

Do we want to go backwards or move forward towards a more sustainable future? We live on Puget Sound and our name is SHORELINE! Don't we want to protect it from plastic bag trash and protect the sea life living there?

Anonymous,  June 24, 2013 at 2:40 PM  

Typical Libertarian response to complain that they're no longer receiving a freebie plastic bag that they can use once for their dog doo.

Ban the bag.

Anonymous,  June 24, 2013 at 8:36 PM  

Why is Haggen allowing the petitioners to gather signatures, Janet Way asks? Because under the Constitution they have the right to petition their government, Janet. It is part of freedom of speech. Unless, of course, Janet Way is against freedom of speech and the Constitution.

Furthermore, Janet Way has such a narrowly focused agenda that she has seemed overlooked any facts that don't support her agenda and that of the progressives. Such as that reported here:

Plastic bag bans lead to a 20% increase in shoplifting. Most shoplifting occurs in grocery stores and is referred to as shrinkage. More shoplifting leads to higher prices and families are already dealing with higher food prices due to green policies requiring more ethanol in fuel (corn is now being diverted from food crops that are used in cereals and stock feed) into fuels, causing prices to rise. Add on top of that rising prices due to plastic bag bans creating more shoplifting and we see our grocery store bill rise.

Grocery stores with their scanners have the capability to correlate shoplifting with plastic bag bans by locality. Low and middle income families are most impacted by higher food prices yet Janet Way, who claims she is a progressive Democrat seems to be completely unconcerned about the plight of families who are struggling to keep their children well fed so that they can perform well in school -- progressives are supposed to be concerned about education, children, and the underclass. Janet Way does not represent me as a progressive. Janet Way does not speak for all Democrats and progressives and she should quit acting as if she does.

Corey Murata,  June 25, 2013 at 7:18 AM  

Actually Anon@8:36 the facts don't support you either. If you had bothered to read the study cited you would have learned that on the question of "Increased Shoplifting due to bag ban" 59.6% responded "Not a problem" and another 19.3% responded "Not applicable to my store". Of the remaining 21.1% who identified it as a problem, 6.8% said it is a "Small problem." So, 85% of retailers surveyed said it is either not a problem, not applicable or a small problem. Only 8.1% said it is a "Big problem."
Further, the 20% number you claim is NOT the increase in shoplifting, it is the percentage of those responding who said shoplifting is a problem. Nowhere in the study does it ask for the perceived or measured increase in shoplifting due to the plastic bag ban.
If you really want to make an argument about retailers passing on costs to consumers by raising prices after the plastic bag ban, then you need an actual study that actually shows price increases and correlates it with shoplifting after the bag bans and eliminates other factors such as increased distribution costs due to higher fuel prices.
Finally, going back to the 'study', the one item that retailers identified most frequently as a 'Big problem' was "Customers who don't want to pay 5-cents for large recyclable paper bags." CUSTOMERS WHO DON'T WANT TO PAY.
So, Anonymous, perhaps you should go back and do some real research, but perhaps that's too much to ask since you can't seem to remember your own name.

Anonymous,  June 25, 2013 at 8:04 AM  

Ah, and if you read the study without cherry picking your data, you would read that their costs increased 60% because of the plastic bag ban - and those costs are passed on to customers, just as shoplifting is. Customers don't want to pay up front, but they will pay indirectly through higher prices. Merchants have to recover their higher costs.

If you actually knew how difficult the retail business is, and how small the profit margins are, you might actually understand how these small cost increase affect the ability of these retail stores to stay open -- especially the small independent stores in an era of increased online shopping. You talk about distribution costs, well, these stores are faced with the inability to keep with the online behemoths like Amazon (planning on increasing their grocery shopping presence). Amazon is an anti-union shop, Democrats and progressive alike are supposed to promote union shops which Amazon does not.

Keep on trying to act like you know something about how to run a small business when you have repeatedly proven you do not.

Tom Jamieson,  June 25, 2013 at 12:53 PM  

Do the residents of Shoreline overwhelmingly favor a plastic bag ban? Not likely, based on the City's own research. When asked in a City poll last summer, only 49% of respondents wanted the City Council to even consider, let alone pass, a plastic bag ban. The same goes for businesses. In a City poll of the top 200 Shoreline businesses by taxable revenue, 66% of respondents stated their first preference was for no ban and no charge for bags. Even if the ban were popular, is this not a free country? Must we all "wear the ribbon"? Is the majority infallible? The popularity argument is unsupported.

Do petitioners expect retailers to always give them free bags? Some probably do. Petitioners have diverse reasons for opposing the bag ban. But those who initiated and are circulating the petition are not doing it to keep the bags free. They are doing it to keep the merchants free, to keep the local government from meddling in the commercial affairs of its business owners and residents. To be sure, if retail establishments voluntarily chose to charge their customers even $5 a bag, not one of those initiating and circulating this petition would seek a petition to prevent them from doing so. The free bag argument is bogus.

Why wouldn't Shoreline want to be 'green' like most of its neighbors? If merchants voluntarily chose to offer only 'green' bag options to its customers, the initiators and circulators of this petition would have no political objection. The issue is government force. If the City were to ban environment-friendly, branded, reusable cloth bags from retail establishments, on the basis such bags were unsanitary and discouraged social equity, the same people would initiate and circulate a petition to repeal that ban as well. In fact, the ordinance we are petitioning for prevents the regulation of all carryout bags, including 'green' bags. The 'green' argument is bunk.

Why should anyone sign a petition whose position is aligned with the plastic bag industry? No one is forced to do business with establishments who enable the plastic bag industry. Moreover, every intervention by local government in commerce benefits some industry. The plastic bag industry bias is not extraordinary.

Don't we want to protect Shoreline from plastic bag trash and protect the sea life living there? Of course we do, and we have pollution and litter laws for that. Plastic bag bans have nothing to do with litter. Apples and oranges.

If you stop dwelling on the plastic bag, and pay a little attention to the implications of the practice of banning, you will be able to find the sound principles behind the actions of those who think differently than you. And if you choose nevertheless to reject those principles, for the sake of an infinitesimal and momentary relief from the burden of environmental guilt you carry by living in the modern world, you should take time out to reflect on where that ends-justifies-the means principle of yours leads. It leads right back to slavery.

Anonymous,  June 28, 2013 at 12:42 AM  

Why are you afraid of a vote Janet? If the majority support your love of "the ban", you have no problem.
I can see though, if you think "the ban" wouldn't hold up to a public vote why you'd want to just ridicule those opposed to your ideas.
Let's hope a vote happens so we can see what the people think.
I'm fine either way, but I'd like to let folks vote.
How about it?

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