Seattle voters reject plastic bag fee - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Seattle voters reject plastic bag fee

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SEATTLE, Wash. - Plastics industry officials say Seattle voters' rejection of a 20-cent fee on plastic and paper bags represents a sound defeat for other efforts in U.S. cities to limit the use of the throw-away bags.

A referendum on an ordinance to charge the bag fee at grocery, drug and convenience stores was easily defeated in yesterday's primary in this liberal city, where voters are known for taxing themselves to pay for parks, libraries, affordable housing and other causes.

The ordinance approved by city leaders was to start in January, but the plastics industry bankrolled a referendum to put the question to voters.

The Progressive Bag Affiliates, an arm of the American Chemistry Council, spent $1.4 million to overturn the ordinance, the largest contribution to a local ballot measure in recent history.

Supporters raised about $93,000.

Seattle Green Bag campaign spokeswoman Heather Trim said other cities will surely look to Seattle's outcome for cues on how to proceed.

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