Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Seattle OKs Bag Fee

From the Seattle Post Intelligencer:

City OKs 20-cent fee on plastic, paper bags
Council also outlaws foam food and drink containers


Move over, baseball caps and T-shirts.

Logo-emblazoned cloth grocery bags could soon become the most popular company freebie in the Puget Sound region.

Seattle became on Monday one of the first major American cities to discourage the use of paper and plastic shopping bags by requiring grocery, drug and convenience stores to charge 20 cents per bag. In a related action, the City Council also banned plastic foam food and drink containers.

Both laws will go into effect Jan. 1.

People can avoid the fees by bringing their own reusable bags when they shop. The city of Seattle will launch a 90-day education effort to help people figure out the best ways to use cloth bags, and remember to take them when they go shopping. The city also plans to provide residents with a couple of free bags.

One of my favorite stores, Trader Joe’s, has been selling reusable bags forever. They now have a display with many sizes and designs to choose from:

I’m really trying hard. I have a friend who is so conscientious about recycling, she always carries her own bags, and her actions have influenced me greatly. She believes even one person makes a difference, and I believe her – I can see that her behavior has already changed mine! I am trying to carry my own reusable bags now, too.

Especially for my Kuwait/Gulf/Middle East readers, I got a big grin when I saw this in the prepared food section:

A ready-to-go lunch, with felafel, hummous, tabouli and a little bit of flat bread.

August 1, 2008 - Posted by | Bureaucracy, Character, Community, Cross Cultural, Customer Service, ExPat Life, Financial Issues, Living Conditions, Middle East, Seattle, Shopping, Social Issues


  1. you miss middle east food already? hehehehe
    by any chance… do you like Bennigans? I am not sure if I spelled it right… my friend once told me that I HAVE TO try their Monte Cristo Sandwich ok… so I go in and order it and it turned out to be one of the yummiest sandwiches I have ever tried in that place
    a sandwich that is sprinkled with powdered sugar, and turkey inside with raspberry or cranberry sauce on the side! YUMMMM
    I go in again a couple of weeks later and order it again..
    then after a while I go with a friend, and as I was finishing it she goes… I think there is “Ham” in your sandwich! and you know what… she was right!!! ughhhhhh! IT WAS SO GOOD LOL

    Try one and eat it on my behalf since I cant 😦

    Comment by Ansam | August 1, 2008 | Reply

  2. LLLOOOLLLLL, Ansam! I know you get a pass because you didn’t eat pork intentionally!

    Actually, there is a really good Greek restaurant nearby, but it also has good Middle Eastern things, so no, I am not missing too much. I am catching up on Vietnamese food and Mexican food mostly! And local seafood. 🙂

    Comment by intlxpatr | August 1, 2008 | Reply

  3. These reusable bags are made of plastic it seems , they look glossy .We must stop pollution at the source .
    Charging for shopping bags is so old news in Euorpe ,it is reallly surprising that it just starting in the states .

    Comment by daggero | August 1, 2008 | Reply

  4. I have heard rumors that AAFES and commissary are going to start charging for bags too.

    Comment by momcat | August 1, 2008 | Reply

  5. two buck chuck!!!!

    Comment by Chirp | August 2, 2008 | Reply

  6. You know, daggero, you are right. I have lived there so many years, and I had totally forgotten. Paying for a bag in the US is totally unheard of. It is very controversial here.

    Momcat – no kidding?!

    Chirp – what is Two Buck Chuck?

    Comment by intlxpatr | August 2, 2008 | Reply

  7. they are $2 wines that are really good that are sold in Trader Joe’s. Hope ur having a good time in seattle!! 🙂

    Comment by Chirp | August 2, 2008 | Reply

  8. Great time, sweetie! Hope you don’t suffer any more earthquakes in sunny CA!

    Comment by intlxpatr | August 2, 2008 | Reply

  9. thats great, i’d love to visit Seattle one day (without any quakes!!) 🙂 CA is sunny but its colder than MN during the summer!!

    Comment by Chirp | August 2, 2008 | Reply

  10. Seattle is colder than California! (shivers)

    Comment by intlxpatr | August 2, 2008 | Reply

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