Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Plastic-bag ban about to take effect
In 2011, Seattle voters rejected an attempt to push them out of the convenience and thriftiness of plastic bags. The sensible majority had spoken, but their vote counted for nothing. [“Retailers get handle on plastic-bag ban,” page one, June 20.]
The will of the majority was summarily overridden by Seattle’s mayor and politicians who pander to the significant and politically active minority of eco-snobs.
What is an eco-snob?
They buy organic groceries at PCC Natural Markets, pricey Metropolitan Market or Whole Foods Market; they smugly tote them home in hemp bags using bicycles or hybrid automobiles, where they recycle everything possible. Good for them, that is their right and privilege. They sincerely wish that others would follow their example.
But they go too far when they use their “local environmental groups” to pressure Seattle’s politicians to foist their values and lifestyle on the working people who shop for their family groceries at Safeway or Albertsons. People choose plastic over paper at the check stand because they are easier to handle and can be put to use as economic wastebasket liners, etc. A family of four can easily require 10 or more bags a week. Under this law, they must pay 50 cents each week for the privilege of bringing home paper bags that are not what they want. It is also cheaper for the stores who use plastic bags as a key part of their automatic checkout equipment.
Every Seattle politician who desires to attain and keep office knows that this politically powerful voter bloc is key to their success. Thus, the eco-snobs, and not the voting populace, are allowed to call the shots in Seattle. Our politicians are in a trap that is analogous to Republican candidates for national office, who cannot afford to not placate the redneck right.
Why bother to have the trouble and expense of an election when it can be ignored to placate the eco-snobs?
— Charles W. Lyter, Seattle