The American Chemistry Council is pouring money into an opposition blitz against the District of Columbia Council's proposed $0.05 per bag fee. The Washington Post reports that the ACC is engaging in robo-calls, making the argument that a bag fee will hurt lower-income communities. Columnist Marc Fisher writes the plastic industry is imitating the beverage industry's successful fight against a Bottle Bill initiative in the district in 1987.
Council member Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7) has heard from more than 100 constituents who expressed their opposition, as the automated calls urged. "I'm really angry that people are portraying this as something that hurts poor people when what they're really doing is defending their own industry," she says. "It bothers me that they're making this an economic issue when the real issue is the pollution in the Anacostia River.
The bag fee ordinance was introduced after a study determined that plastic bags comprised 20% of litter in the Anacostia River.