Bag Monster is on the loose in Olympia!

Posted by — March 13, 2009 8:59 pm

Imagine the alarm if all of your plastic bags united together and emerged from the depths of your kitchen drawer to form one super bag. For many Puget Sound residents this haunting thought has already become a reality.

A shocking howl rang out across the steps of the Capitol as a mound of garbage came to life. February’s Environmental Lobby Day bore witness to the region’s latest environmentally themed mascot. The Green Bag Campaign, a group working to introduce a 20-cent grocery bag fee in Seattle, showed off the newest addition to the team: the Bag Monster. Reactions varied from confusion to laughter as he strolled through the Capitol campus.

Bag Monster, Jake Harris, tries to buy votes at the Capitol.

The monster acted as an attack dog for the campaign, claiming the plastics cause no environmental harm and mocking the idea of reusable bags. Toting a $1 million check made out to state legislators, he tried to “buy” their vote against the environment. Some observers attempted to ignore the spectacle while others ran up to ask for high-fives, hugs, and photo-ops. Once he had captured their attention, he took the opportunity to patiently explain the logic behind bizarre suit and encourage listeners support the campaign.

Already a common sight in many California cities, the monster is the brainchild of a reusable bag company called Chico Bags based out of Chico, CA. The costume consists of a pair of overalls hidden under five hundred plastic bags, the amount an average American uses during one year. The simplicity of the outfit and limitless availability of the plastics has allowed groups like the Green Bag Campaign to employ the character in its cause.

Last July, the group pushed Seattle City Council to approve a 20-cent fee as a way to encourage use of reusable totes and reduce the environmental harm caused by single-use bags. However, the Coalition to Stop the Seattle Bag Tax collected enough signatures to stop the fee from going into effect in January. The issue will be put to a public vote in August. In the meantime, the Bag Monster will be a staple figure at events around Puget Sound.

By Sound News reporter Scott Nordquist

Click here for full story.

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