Tag Archives: Bellingham Washington

THE Plastic Bag Ban STORY …it’s now 2019 and the fight continues and who is monitoring this?


SeattleWAthumbpix

It is now 2019 and though the effort to deal with plastic is more evident, you can still tell …if you’re the one shopping that plastic bags are NOT gone! They come and go, get replaced by paper for about a month still and the next thing you know plastic bags are the only option

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 use reusable bags.

What bags?

  • Banned Bags Include plastic bags provided at the 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; the 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 the first year.

Background -Seattle

   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 overturned 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.

My take ~ As the ban on plastic bags is implemented and or enforced most checkers are 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 plastic 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 spotted a heavy-duty plastic Safeway logo on the bag with pretty colours.  I don’t don’t about you but 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 stores selling heavy-duty reusable plastic bags

What plastic bags?   ugh

.beaseedforchangestickersGREEN

Put coal exports On Trial in Washington ~~


Greenpeace
Help put coal exports on trial in Washington.
Coal train
Make a public comment today to stop the proposed Longview, WA coal terminal.
take action today

Big coal is trying to force through the largest coal export terminal in the U.S. right here in Longview, WA.
Sending coal exports through Longview would damage everything from our fragile ecosystem, to our health, to our climate.
We can’t let this facility get permitted. And now we have a chance to stop it. The public comment period has opened for the Longview proposal – giving us an official public opportunity to say NO to coal exports by voicing our concerns about its impacts.
And speaking up makes a difference. When Washingtonians like you submitted over 124,000 comments last fall on a coal export proposal just north of Bellingham, the agencies listened. We can do it again.
Please submit a comment today. Absolutely everyone needs to comment to help stop these terminals from moving forward.
If we allow these terminals in our state, we’ll be seen as one of the world’s largest exporters of climate-disrupting coal.
This is not us. We’re pioneering the clean energy revolution – building a stronger regional economy and developing clean energy solutions that work for the long haul. Let’s stand up against these dirty plans and demand a better, cleaner future for our children and our communities.
We must make it clear that we don’t want coal in Northwest or Southwest Washington. We don’t want it in Oregon. We don’t want it. Period. Please comment today.
Stopping coal exports isn’t just crucial for the Northwest. Around the globe, we must stop major new fossil fuel projects in order to prevent catastrophic climate change. That’s why Greenpeace is working to halt Arctic drilling, the Keystone XL Pipeline and coal export projects that threaten our planet’s future.
With your help, we can put the brakes on the coal industry’s plans for Washington.
Thank you for standing up for our state and our climate,
Kim Marks Greenpeace Washington Organizer
P.S. Don’t let coal exports threaten our health, our environment and our climate. Submit a comment against the Longview, WA coal export facility today.