Starting next year, Seattle will have a new 20 cent fee on grocery sacks. Portland is thinking about following suit. So is the Vancouver, BC region.

But as the Seattle P-Ireported this morning, the American Chemistry Council (aka the plastics industry) has spent more than $180,000 to put Seattle’s measure before voters. Clearly, they want to kill these bag fees before they spread. So much so, in fact, that they dropped about $8 per signature to gather enough signatures to put the thing on the ballot.

Personally, I don’t think the whole grocery bag debate is worth anywhere near the heat that’s expended on it. The paper or plastic question is pretty far down my list of things to worry about. But this opposition campaign is just silly. And over at the Seattlest blog, Katelyn nails it:

Just for comparison’s sake, the group could have purchased 903,125 plastic grocery bags with that money. 903,125 bags they could have then distributed to the unfairly burdened poor folk whose cause they are championing, as a sign of good faith that plastic will never fade away in the hearts and ecosystems of America. It’s also worth noting that if the ACC had taken their dollars to Safeway, they could have purchased 180,625 cans of nourishing, environmentally friendly beans or 126,311 bags of Safeway yellow cornmeal. Or hell, some of each. They could have wrapped all of those bags and cans up in saran wrap, packaged the saran wrap bundles in flimsy beige plastic bags, and given that food to poor people.

Dear Seattle, buy your $1 canvas totes online here or just pick up a couple at your nearest grocery store. This whole anti-bag fee campaign is nigh unto ridiculous.

Really, I can’t improve on that.