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As part of City efforts to reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions, in 2008 then-Mayor Greg Nickels and the Seattle City Council proposed a 20-cent per bag "Green Fee" on all paper and plastic disposable shopping bags provided by grocery, drug and convenience stores.
However, sufficient signatures were gathered for a referendum on the plan and voters rejected the idea. Today, Seattle does not impose such a fee, though both plastic and paper bags are recyclable in the city's curbside residential recycling program and at some commercial locations.
Background information on the proposed Green Fee is available from the links below.
SPU encourages customers to reduce waste and make the right choice for the environment by taking reusable bags with them when they go shopping.
News Release (pdf)