SEATTLE, WASH. - The Seattle City Council voted today to impose a ban on plastic bags, a move that ironically pushes consumers toward more resource-intensive alternatives. The ordinance, which will take effect July 2012, bans plastic grocery bags and places a five-cent tax on paper bags, monies that will go back to retailers.
The following is a statement from Mark Daniels, Vice President of Sustainability & Environmental Policy for Hilex Poly, a leading U.S. manufacturer of plastic bags and the largest closed-looped recycler of plastic bags, wraps and films.
"We are disappointed but not surprised by the result of today’s vote by the Seattle City Council to rush toward a plastic bag ban and impose a paper bag tax. By voting to implement a ban on plastic bags, the City of Seattle misses the opportunity to lead the way toward the meaningful reduction of litter through increased statewide recycling efforts. As we have said from the start of this debate, a statewide solution that includes recycling is more comprehensive, encompassing not just a single product but all plastic bags, wraps and films. Increased plastics recycling provides a more effective solution for consumers and the environment. It also supports an American industry that provides tens of thousands of jobs."
In 2008, the Seattle City Council passed a 20-cent tax on plastic bags. The tax was overturned by voters through a referendum in 2009.