"I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors." - Thomas Jefferson (appears in the Jefferson Memorial)


You have to wonder if the bags will become a kind of tipping point, one way or the other: Either they tip people in the direction of reuse and recycling, or they tip a revolt.

Its just that this new plan, adopted today in Seattle, of requiring a fee (small, at 20 cents a bag, but still) for each bag obtained at a store, really is a daily-invasive kind of thing. It’s inescapably in your face, in a way most recycling-type activities aren’t. Attitudes could harden on this one.

It feels like a big thing, too, in whatever direction. Seattle is just part of the wave. San Francisco adopted it a while back, and if statements in the last few days from Portland Mayor-elect Sam Adams are any indicator, the Rose City will be on board before long. Nor is that all. Really notable was a sidebar story in the Oregonian indicating that a bunch of mayors and council members in the suburbs ringing Portland also are interested in launching these fees.

We don’t yet know how shoppers are going to react. But we should know before long.

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