The great 20-cent shopping bag debate is hitting home. My visit last night to the LQA Met Market earned me a bright green cautionary note that I can only assume came courtesy of the city, since both the mayor's and city council member Richard Conlin's names, numbers, and emails, were stamped on the back for our comments. It warned,
"To Our Valued Customer: To give you plenty of notice on a coming change that may affect your future shopping costs, we want to inform you the Seattle City Council is proposing a 20 cent assessment to be collected by all grocery and drug stores for each disposable paper and plastic bag given to customers beginning in early 2009."
My cashier circled the 20 cent figure for my one bag (I'd come straight from work, on my bike, and wasn't carrying any shopping bags); and the sliding scale moved all the way up to $2.00. That's ten bags, or the kind of SUV-size load one associates more with Costco than my pedestrian hood, where most people lug their bags home by hand. After that came the dreaded "More." Apparently the sky's the limit with such coercive green fees.
You know, if I wanted to have that kind of conversation with my elected officials, I'd expect them to come down to my grocery store and bag my groceries for me. In the meantime, I'm going to Safeway, where I hope civic process isn't yet intruding in the checkout line.