Tag Archives: Washington

THE Plastic Bag Ban STORY …


beaseedforchangestickersGREEN

first posted – Nov.2011

What’s the Problem?

Washingtonians use more than 2 billion  single-use plastic bags  each year, and Seattle alone uses approximately 292  million plastic  bags annually and only 13% are recycled.  Too many plastic  bags end up  in Puget Sound where they do not biodegrade.  Plastic bags break down  into smaller and  smaller pieces that remain hazardous as they are  consumed by filter-feeders,  shellfish, fish, turtles, marine mammals,  and birds. PCB levels in Chinook  salmon from Puget Sound are 3- to  5-times higher than any other West Coast  populations. In 2010, a  beached gray whale was  found to have 20 plastic bags in its stomach!

Data source: Keeping Plastics Out of Puget Sound,  Environment Washington Report, November 2011

How would the plastic bag ban work?

by Mike O’brien

It’s simple – retailers are prohibited from offering plastic   carryout bags to customers.  Paper bags  may still be provided to  customers for a minimum of five cents – stores keep  the nickel to help  cover the cost of providing bags.  Everyone is encouraged to bring, sell  and use  reusable bags.

What bags?

  • Banned Bags Include: plasticbags provided at checkout of all  retail stores (bags less than 2.25 ml thick and made from non‐renewable  sources).
  • Exclusions: bags used by shoppers in a store to package bulk  foods, meat, flowers, bakery goods or prescriptions; newspaper, door  hanger bags and dry cleaning bags.

What stores?

  • Where the policy applies: all retail stores including but not  limited to grocery stores, corner and convenience stores, pharmacies,  department stores, farmers markets, restaurants and catering trucks.
  • Where it’s not applicable: for take‐out food where there is a public health risk if a bag is not provided.

What about paper?

  • Retailers may provide paper bags made of at least 40% recycled  paper for a minimum 5 cent pass through cost that retailers keep to  offset the cost of providing bags.
  • Low income customers who qualify for food assistance programs shall be provided paper bags at no charge.

Joining cities on the West Coast and around the world

Seattle would join cities along the West Coast, hundreds of cities  across the country and twenty nations worldwide that have already taken  action to reduce the use of single use plastic bags.

  • San Francisco, CA – Banned plastic bags in 2007.
  • Los Angeles County – Banned Plastic bags November 2010; includes a 10 cent fee on paper bags.
  • Portland, OR – Banned plastic bags in summer 2011.
  • Edmonds, WA – Banned Plastic Bags in 2009; law was implemented in August 2010.
  • Bellingham, WA – Banned plastic bags in 2011, in the model outlined in this document;  legislation to be implement in summer 2012.
  • Washington DC – Implemented a 5 cent fee on paper and plastic bags in 2009; reduced  disposable bag use by 80% citywide in first year.

Background in Seattle

Approximately 292 million disposable  bags are used in the City  of Seattle annually.   In 2008, the City Council passed an ordinance that  would have placed a 20 cent fee on disposable plastic and  paper bags  at grocery, drug and convenience stores in an effort to reduce  waste.   The ordinance passed the Council  in a 6-1 vote and then opposing  parties collected enough signatures to refer  the ordinance to the  ballot, where it was over-turned by the voters (53%-47%)  in the  November 2009 primary election.   The American Chemistry Council spent  over $1.4 million opposing the law during the ballot measure campaign.

Today, as the ban on plastic bags is implemented and or enforced most checkers were asking if you would like to buy a cotton bag because there were no flimsy plastic available. Now, after finally getting those flimsy bags out some stores, others such as the Dollar store and Safeway came up with or possibly the plastic industry came up with a heavy-duty supposedly reusable bag. I was at a Safeway and needed another bag. I honestly did not want to spend $5 and while I was looking around, I spot a heavy-duty plastic Safeway logo inscribed bag with pretty colours. This was a disappointing find on so many environmental official statewide ban levels though i admit it can be reused, it is quite large and was only .25 but they tear easily. I bought one to see how it would hold up and it lasted about 2hours … so, the next question for king county is if they actually have folks checking in on those heavy-duty reusable bag

What bags?

.beaseedforchangestickersGREEN

More States and Countries are choosing to Ban and or Reduce access to Plastic Bags


beaseedforchangestickersGREEN a repost … and more posts to follow on what is happening now … 2015

I have to include an 2015 update to what seemingly was a ban in 2012, was in reality. a choice to pay .5 – .10cents for plastic bags if you want them? The good news is that the transition to an actual ban on plastic as a choice is happening in some parts of Washington state! YAY I have been shaking my head for the last 2yrs when more often than not the checker goes into auto-reaction mode and grabs the plastic if the consumer didn’t bring their own. I am not sure what I expected, but having forgotten my own bags on several occasions the response or offer for a reusable bag was seldom or none and makes me wonder just how much of an impact is being made since the statistics are probably tainted with how many plastic bags are given out each day versus paper or offering a reusable bag. Now, in this year of 2015, no plastic bags are available at more grocery stores and if you don’t have your reusable some of the clerks actually say paper or you can buy one of ours …. finally.

In March of 2012, I heard that Alameda County California voted to implement their “ban” on single use bags not regulate them sometime around January 2013. It just so happens that at or around the same time things were being finalized in different parts of our beautiful state of Washington. Though it has been a long struggle for Washington State to move towards an ordinance that would “ban” bags at retail outlets due to big MONEY in the plastics industry. However, in late December, word was that the City Councils Zero Waste Initiative to “ban” plastic bags in limited and in graduated way realized after four years. In 2008, the Council banned Styrofoam and though they tried to regulate plastic bags they got serious push back from the industry, which spent about $1.4 million, collected signatures with rumors of leaving out some info … then had the ordinance repealed. It was nice to read about Council Bill 117345, a bill to protect Puget Sound, our marine wildlife and our Environment in general joining about twelve states and up to twenty nations. The Seattle City Council voted 9-0 to implement the ban on plastic carry out bags.

After years of pulling out my small recycled bags for the checker to shove my groceries into, Washington State is joining the global movement to protect marine wildlife; the ordinance will take effect on July 1, 2012. It may be a cliché, but this ordinance is a change we can all believe in. I have to say, at first; in my experiences; checkers seemed a little annoyed at having to fight with the reusable bags. The word from most Checkers back in the day was, that plastic is just easier. Yes, the first reusable bags were too small, the dye ran the material was unforgiving, but as folks found better ways to make them; the cost came down and more people bought them including me.

Now, the bags not only cost a little bit more, they are bigger more stylish, last forever are definitely more flexible, and a highly recommended investment. The move to switch from plastic to” bring your own bag” will be difficult for some at first; I intend to carry a few extra to give away or sell; on my website because documented studies show that birds, sea turtles and other wildlife eat plastic bags and some are made with toxic chemicals that could be harmful. The time for a behavior change is now. We all know change is tough, but here we are in the 21st Century and that floating garbage circle, called the ” Great Pacific Garbage Patch discovered in the 90′s by Charles Moore, is only getting bigger. There will always be push back from the plastics industry, their supporters as well as environmental activists who all feel the government does not go far enough and they may be right, but we have to start somewhere.

It baffles me at how complicated people have made the effort to clean up our environment; we all know the need to reduce TRASH as a whole starts at home, although Seattle is the 15th largest metropolitan area in the nation, only 13 percent of plastic bags are recycled or re-used.

We owe it to our next generation…

Grocery stores, as well as food service outlets owe it to consumers and the environment.

It took quite sometime and we’ve come a long way from fighting the plastic industry to now finding that Indeed some Grocers feel the same way by eliminating plastic bags period ~ 2015

stay tuned in … who are the enforcers?

Get This Eco-Friendly 100% Organic Bag great for Shopping& the Beach-

www.bonanza.com/booths/BeaSeedforChange

repost from 2013

On this day in history …


WethePeopleThe Fourteenth Amendment addresses many aspects of citizenship and the rights of citizens.

The most commonly used — and frequently litigated — phrase in the amendment is  “equal protection of the laws“, which figures prominently in a wide variety of landmark cases, including Brown v. Board of Education (racial discrimination), Roe v. Wade (reproductive rights),  Bush v. Gore (election recounts), Reed v. Reed (gender discrimination),  and University of California v. Bakke (racial quotas in education).

 

See more   …

Resource: Cornell University Law School

Save endangered whales from reckless Navy warfare training


endangeredWhalesDeadly and reckless Navy training exercises—including surface-to-air gunnery, missiles, underwater explosions, and mid-frequency sonar—will needlessly kill and injure marine life from Hawai’i to California over the next four years.

Tell President Obama to force the Navy to protect marine animals now, before it’s too late.

Earthjustice is waging an emergency battle in court to force the Navy to avoid needless harm to endangered whales and other species. But we need your help to put additional pressure on President Obama.

Mid-frequency sonar can be deadly, disrupting whale migration, breeding, nursing, breathing, and feeding—and in some cases causing internal hemorrhaging and ruptured eardrums.whalevictory

Imagine someone taking an air horn and blasting it directly into your ear. Now turn the volume up twice as high. That’s the sound level that endangered whales and other marine mammals could experience during this training.

Military training is important to our national security—but it can and should be conducted in a manner that prevents harm to endangered wildlife.

The Navy and the National Marine Fisheries Service estimate that training and testing activities that are occurring right now  in waters from Southern California to Hawai’i will result in more than 9.6 million instances of harm to whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals, and cause thousands of animals to suffer permanent hearing loss, lung injuries, or death.

We can’t let this continue for four more years.

Tell President Obama to conduct training in a responsible manner and restrict dangerous activities in areas that are critical to marine mammals at the greatest risk of permanent injury and death.

These exercises threaten endangered species already struggling to survive, including humpback whales, sperm whales, blue whales, fin whales, sei whales, insular false killer whales, Hawaiian monk seals, and five species of threatened and endangered sea turtles.

The deaths of even a few of these marine animals would be disastrous.

Thank you for speaking up,


David Henkin
Staff Attorney
P.S. Reckless training activities will cause thousands of endangered whales and other animals to suffer hearing loss, injuries, or death. Speak up now before it’s too late!

Top 10 Reasons We Need to Defeat Chris Christie :::::: repost


 chrischristie
   By Staff writer on
Emily’slist.org
Speculation is already running rampant around the 2016 presidential race and we’ve barely had a chance to think about the upcoming 2014 midterm elections. But before those come to pass, there are a few big races in 2013 that you need to know about — including the race for governor in New Jersey. Chris Christie is running for reelection, and we don’t need to tell you that what happens in this race could have major implications for the 2016 Republican primary, not to mention the general election. This could be the year we stop Chris Christie in his tracks. He’s been a disaster as governor, especially for New Jersey women and their families.

Here are the top 10 reasons we need to defeat Chris Christie this November.

10. Chris Christie Vetoed Same-Sex Marriage:  With the tide in America turning against bigotry and discrimination, and in one of the most solidly blue states in the country, Christie vetoed a bill sent to him by both houses of the New Jersey legislature that would enshrine marriage equality into law.

9. Chris Christie Is No Friend to Workers:  Christie has built himself a reputation as one of the most anti-union governors in the country, referring to public school teachers as “thugs” and supporting a bill that would “destroy collective bargaining.”

8. Chris Christie Doesn’t Believe in Universal Pre-K:  Not only does Christie oppose government-funded preschool for every child in his state, he attacked his predecessor’s plan as “simply wrong” and called it “government babysit[ting].”

7. Chris Christie Misuses State Funds:  At a cost of $2,500 an hour, Christie used a state helicopter for personal travel. Probably not the use taxpayers had in mind.

6. Chris Christie Supports the Ryan Budget:  Paul Ryan’s proposed federal budget would end Medicare as we know it, but Christie joined ultraconservative governors like Texas’s Rick Perry, Mississippi’s Haley Barbour, and Virginia’s Bob McDonnell to tell Ryan that his budget was what “voters clearly asked for.”

5. Chris Christie Vetoed a Hike in the Minimum Wage: Just last month, Christie vetoed a bill passed by the legislature that would raise the minimum wage in New Jersey — a state with the third-highest cost of living in the nation — from $7.25 an hour to $8.50, and index it to the consumer price index so it grows with inflation. Christie proposed a smaller increase, phased in over more time, which would not be indexed.

4. Chris Christie Vetoed Equal Pay Legislation : Christie isn’t shy about much, and that includes the use of his veto pen. He vetoed three of four bills passed by the legislature designed to outlaw pay discrimination against women in the workplace and called them “senseless bureaucracy.”

3. Chris Christie Targeted Poor Families in His Budget:  It’s no surprise that Christie is a fan of Paul Ryan’s budget once you look at his own. His budget cut aid for tuition, for a center for abused children, for legal services, and for transitional aid to some of New Jersey’s neediest communities. When asked about the cuts, he said “I don’t care.”

2. Chris Christie Cut Funding to Family Planning Organizations:  Christie got out his veto pen again for a budget that would have given $7.5 million to family planning organizations in the state, including Planned Parenthood. He blocked attempts to restore the funding, even using a line-item veto specifically to target women’s health in New Jersey.

1. Chris Christie Is Proudly:  Anti-Choice Christie has declared himself against the side of women’s reproductive rights and on the side of those who would deny them, saying “I am pro-life.” We can’t trust Chris Christie, not in New Jersey, and certainly not in the White House. This November may be our best chance to stop his ambitions.