While it’s shortened in most headlines to “plastic-bag ban,” remember that the other half of the city law taking effect Sunday is “paper-bag fee” – stores that offer paper shopping bags are required to charge at least a nickel for each one. That is not a “tax” – it’s a fee that is kept by the store (which of course pays to buy the bags in the first place) – but it will generate some tax revenue, since it’s counted as a taxable sale. Here is the city’s official informational page about the changes, if you’re still not clear on what’s happening. And here are a few interesting points as Sunday approaches:
*Canvas totes and cloth bags are not your only “reusable” options.
At Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor), for example, you can also buy what MM calls a “wave bag” – 20 cents each – made of thicker plastic that is not subject to the city ban.
*A different type of reusable shopping bag was brought to our attention earlier this month when we published a “two weeks away” story. West Seattle-based Luke Decker Consulting says they helped design the “Mercado,” which could help you reduce the usage of smaller plastic bags too:
The ultimate farmer’s market bag, with pockets to protect delicate fruits and veggies, loops to hold bottles in place, and compartments to keep everything organized. A wide adjustable strap lets you choose the right length for carrying, so that you’re as comfortable as your produce!
You can see it and buy it, online only.
*Seattle Safeway stores will give away 2,000 reusable bags at each store on Sunday (or until supplies run out – but not before Sunday). The city donated 1,000; the company is supposed to be providing at least another thousand per store. Note that, in our area, that affects only the Admiral and Jefferson Square Safeway stores; Roxbury Safeway is outside the city limits, so not affected by the plastic-bag ban/paper-bag fee.