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Archive for Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fee on plastic, paper bags voted down

August 20, 2009

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— Seattle voters’ rejection of a 20-cent fee on plastic and paper bags represents a sound defeat for other efforts in U.S. cities to limit the use of the throwaway bags, plastics industry officials said Wednesday.

A referendum on an ordinance to charge the bag fee at grocery, drug and convenience stores was easily defeated in Tuesday’s primary in this liberal city — whose voters are known for taxing themselves to pay for parks, libraries, affordable housing and other causes.

“If they can’t do it there, they can’t do anywhere,” said Stephen Joseph, a San Francisco attorney with SavethePlasticBag.com, who has challenged several plastic bag bans in California.

The ordinance approved by city leaders was to start in January, but the plastics industry bankrolled a referendum to put the question to voters.

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