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Seattle’s Ban on Plastic and Styrofoam

Tuesday saw Seattle residents given the opportunity to voice their opinion on Mayor Greg Nickel’s proposal to ban Styrofoam containers, and impose a fee on plastic and paper bags at the checkout at supermarkets and local stores. And from what is slowly sliding out over the internets, the idea has been met with a warm reception.

The proposal was be enacted in a two stage process. Beginning in January of 2009, all foam products would be banned, but restraints and grocery stores would be allowed to switch to plastic products if they hadn’t found a biodegradable replacement. The second stage would go in to effect by 2010, at which time all plastics would be banned, leaving only biodegradables.

During the January and July period, a 20-cent per bag fee would be imposed in the checkout line at all grocery, convenience and drugstores.

The Seattle Post Intelligencer quoted Ravenna resident Liz Tatchell  as saying she thought it was “…a great step in the right direction,” and “It’s more than just the bags — it’s a lifestyle change.” They added that “nearly all of the dozens of Seattleites… supported the proposal.”

Naturally, there was some opposition from representatives of the grocery industry who want a flat fee rather than a per-bag charge. But on the whole, it looks like Seattle residents are ready and willing to make the change to a more environmentally friendly future.

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credit: Zainub at Flickr under a Creative Commons license