Can you afford the Seattle bag tax?

Even if you love reusing bags and think 20 cents is pretty affordable, I challenge you to ask yourself these questions and follow the links. Then see if the interests and concerns of the plastic bag industry don’t change your mind:   


We’re revving back up…

Thanks to the late-breaking $500,000 infusion from our friends in the plastic bag industry, we’re gonna be back and better than ever in the month leading up to the most important plastic bag election Seattle has ever seen.

Get ready… and in the mean time, tool around the site to read up on our position, our perspective, and our strong commitment to clean, sanitary, single-use disposable plastic bags.

Press Release: Plastic bag industry group to “bridge the checkstand chasm,” request State bailout


For more information, contact

Plastic bag industry group to request State bailout

Pledges to “bridge the check-stand chasm” and work with paper bag makers for relief

Seattle — In a major development late Monday night, Plastic Bag Makers for More Plastic Bags (PBMforMBP) has announced their decision to request a preemptive bailout for the plastic bag industry in the face of the possible Seattle bag tax. 

“20 cents per bag — frankly, we could afford that,” explained group spokesperson T.P. Mann. “What’s really going to hit us hard is the way the tax will encourage re-use over disposability. That, we simply can’t afford.”

The State faces a multi-billion dollar budget shortfall, but as with the analogous Federal deficit and Wall Street bailout, plastic bag industry leaders explain, this just makes the need for a bailout all the more pressing, serious, and time-sensitive.

“The Feds want to bail out Wall Street,” said Mann. “But what about the makers of the bags that are blowing down Main Street?”

The situation is dire, and Washington’s political leaders need to act with haste. That’s why PBMforMBP has announced our willingness to “bridge the check-stand chasm” by teaming up with our onetime rivals in the paper bag industry, which also needs relief in these tough times for purveyors of grocery sacks of all disposable sorts.

Preserving the Environmental Choice

The bailout request is especially pressing in light of a new Johns Hopkins study, which shows that re-using bags is not necessarily better for the environment than using them once and then throwing away.

The data suggests that when you take into account the efficiency with which garbage trucks transport plastic bags from back alley refuse receptacle to solid waste disposal station, single-use plastic film products stack up positively against the several-grams-heavier reusable bags. The issue is that the reusable bags are inadvertently taken along on numerous unnecessary trips, weighing down the trunks- and therefore the gas mileage- of Seattle’s hundreds of thousands of consumer-owned automobiles. Mounting desperation to avoid a 20-cent tax will only exacerbate this destructive caution to have a reusable bag on hand “just in case.”

In the end, the soon-to-be-published Johns Hopkins study shows, the inefficiency of reusables actually *adds* to greenhouse gas emissions, which is why so many environmentalists who work for plastic bag manufacturers explain that plastic bags are a great choice for the environment.

PBMforMBP pledges to work hard for the financial relief we need to offset the burdensome 20-cent bag tax. With the economy getting tight and the environment on everybody’s minds, now is hardly the time to say goodbye to the most environmentally responsible free & disposable product out there.


Plastic Bag Makers for More Plastic Bags is the leading lobby group representing the interests of Plastic Bag Makers. For more information on us, visit us online at, or email

Welcome West Seattle Herald readers!

Update (9/19): Wow! We’re seeing an unbelievable response from West Seattle, with insane traffic every day. Incredible — glad to see that there’s some sanity on the issue coming out of the SW Peninsula. And they say you can’t buy fairness!


What a pleasant surprise — the West Seattle Herald seems to have printed a letter from a fellow plastic bag supporter pointing readers to this humble little outpost of the web. (A big thank you to Mr./Ms. Wilson who wrote the letter! Please, leave us a comment so we know who you are and can say thank you!)

In anticipation of seeing some new visits the site from the Lower West Side, I wanted to take the opportunity to point out a few key pieces that help explain where we stand and what we’re doing here:

  • We Can’t Afford the Seattle Bag Tax links to several of our key arguments about the unfair impact of this proposed 20 cent fee — a “plastic bag death tax”, as we like to call it. This is critical reading that we humbly suggest will shed a whole new light on the arguments about the plastic bag ban.
  • About Us helps to explain who we are and what the principles of the plastic bag industry are
  • Our post on the so-called “Progressive Bag Advocates” reads the riot act on plastic bag industry groups engaging this debate with less honesty than us.
  • And “Why the Silence?” calls out groups that supposedly represent the interests of lower-income communities — but don’t do so half as well as plastic bag makers!

Thank you for visiting, and thank you for your support. It may only be a few disposable bags at a time, but multiplied by the millions and millions and millions… well, let’s just say that our shareholders thank you!

$8 a signature is a bargain for our shareholders

The Seattle P-I reports today with disdain that the plastic industry spent nearly $200,000 collecting signatures against the fascist/communist/terrorist 20 cent bag tax. By their calculations, that works out to more than $8 a signature.

But what’s the problem here? The bag tax is an assault on our very livelihood in the plastic bag industry. (And don’t forget about the impact on bag ladies, bag-of-bag makers, kitty-cats, and ocean life.),

Making more plastic bags is what we do, so of course we’ll spend the money doing whatever it takes to make sure we make more plastic bags. And besides, $200,000 is nothing to us. We’re big corporations concerned about maximizing our profits, not grassroots hippies worried about showing affection to neighborhood trees.

Our interests are clear: making more plastic bags. And we’ll do whatever is necessary to make sure nothing stands in the way of that goal. Anything less would violate our fiduciary responsibility to our shareholders, not to mention the very moral structure of capitalism. And that has to come first.

“Progressive Bag Advocates”:Is this satire?

We recently came across the website of some offshoot fake-grassroots organization launched by the American Chemistry Council, a big lobby group for the chemical industry.

They call it “Progressive Bag Affiliates”, of all things, and the press release announcing the new group suggests that it’s dedicated to “promote the environmentally responsible use of plastic bags”, and increase “in-store recycling programs” [emphasis ours]

We have no problem whatsoever with plastic bag makers advocating for what’s most important to them: that is, selling more plastic bags. In fact, that’s exactly what we do here, in clear, direct, make-no-bones-about-it language.

But these clowns at the Progressive Bag Affiliates seem to think that they can dress up their concerns in environmentalist mumbo-jumbo and that people are going to buy it. As if the city of Seattle is going to take environmental advice from the plastic industry. The notion is laughable on its face, isn’t it?

I hope that all of us in the plastic bag industry can agree on a direct, honest approach. We’re not really concerned about “City proposals that could impact consumers’ use of plastic bags”, like the Progressive Bag Advocates try to say. Let’s be straight: what’s *really* at issue are “city proposals that could *reduce* consumers’ use of plastic bags.

We’re plastic bag makers. What we care about it making more plastic bags. To claim anything else would be satire, no?

Put your conspiracy theories on hold

Over at The Stranger’s irritatingly anti-bag “Slog” website, a sniveling enviro tried to evoke sarcasm in a comment thread, responding to a link we added to the conversation with:

How much do you want to bet that both Plasticman and Mr. X work for the plastics industry and are getting paid for their BS rants right now?

Posted by ecogal | August 28, 2008 12:54 PM

I don’t know this Mr. X character, but how dare this “ecogal” accuse us of having a hidden agenda? Our agenda is plain: to support the use and manufacture of clean, sanitary, disposable plastic bags. We make no bones about standing up for plastic bags. Plastic bags have always been there, free at point of purchase, whenever we’ve needed them; we’ll be there for the bag as well. Frankly, if our agenda were “hidden”, that’s mean we’re secretly anti-bag! (That’d hardly go over well in the Plasticman household!)

In any case, we made sure that ecogal’s slur on our reputation didn’t stand uncontested:


@ecogal: Mr. X may work for the plastic industry, I dunno, I don’t recognize his name. But I, theplasticman, have hardly hidden my agenda or who I represent. The name of my website is “Plastic Bag Makers for More Plastic Bags.” There’s no need for conspiracy mongering about a hidden agenda when the agenda of the plastics industry is in plain view, from setting up websites to helping finance signature gathering.

We in the plastics field have interests at stake here, and it’s our job to represent those interests. That’s how democracy works. If you don’t like it, go declare your tree-sit a sovereign territory or something.

For the facts, visit