Legislators seek to reduce pollution by limiting plastic bag use

A proposed bill prohibits single-use plastic bags from retail establishments

  • Wednesday, February 27, 2019 3:58pm
  • News

WNPA Olympia News Bureau

OLYMPIA—Lawmakers aim to reduce pollution from plastic bags by establishing higher standards for the use of bags at retail establishments.

Substitute House Bill 1205 is co-sponsored by 16 Democratic representatives and introduced by Rep. Strom Peterson, D-Edmonds.

The legislation restricts the provision of single-use plastic carryout bags in grocery and retail stores across Washington state. Plastic bags are made of nonrenewable resources and never biodegrade, posing a threat to animal life and the food chain, the bill states.

Single-use plastic bags cause damage to the recycling stream and place a burden on resource conservation goals, explained Peterson at a public hearing on the substitute bill on Monday. The bill promotes environmental education, as well as good business and economic sense, he said.

SHB 1205 requires establishments to collect a pass-through charge of at least 10 cents for each recycled-content paper carryout bag in order to reduce waste, litter and marine pollution. The goal is not for people to pay a fee, but to remember to grab that reusable bag from the trunk, Peterson said.

“A 10 cent fee is a good market changer for a lot of consumers to really encourage them to bring their reusable bags when they go shopping,” he said.

The substitute bill clarifies that the charge may not be collected from people using electronic benefits cards or vouchers under state and federal food assistance programs.

According to the legislation, compostable film bags provided to customers by retail establishments, food banks and food assistance programs must be tinted brown or green. Reusable carryout bags made of film plastic must have a minimum thickness of .003 inches and be made from at least 40 percent post-consumer recycled content material.

Bruce Wishart testified in support of the bill on behalf of Zero Waste Washington. He emphasized the serious and growing problem with single-use plastics on marine life.

“We think it’s important to provide an incentive for people to move from paper bags to the durable reusable bag,” Wishart said.

More in News

a
Mobile COVID-19 drive-through center opening Monday in Bremerton

Kitsap Public Health District says other mobile sites planned elsewhere in the county

a
Farmers to Families food boxes available Oct. 28

First-come, first-served supplies provided through SKSD department

Shops in Downtown Poulsbo are gearing up for Halloween with spooky decorations and seasonal wear.
Poulsbo Halloween Hunt takes place of traditional trick or treating

While Poulsbo has had to cancel its traditional Halloween celebration due to… Continue reading

.
Some going to school, but there’s no room for all

In a presentation to the Kingston Citizens Advisory Council, North Kitsap School… Continue reading

Those without insurance went to the far tent hosted by Kitsap Health District.
Drive-through gives Poulsbo a shot in the arm

Cars lined up along both Third and Moe streets for their occupants… Continue reading

The shops around Port Gamble are gearing up for Halloween, with little Pumpkins lining the walkways and fences.
Port Gamble touts paranormal tours among fun fall events

While it has had to cancel some of its popular fall activities… Continue reading

Kitsap Leadership supports controversial sex ed bill on ballot

Washington voters will decide Nov. 3 whether the controversial sex education bill… Continue reading

Blank Unemployment Benefits formq
Unemployment fell in Kitsap County to 6.8 percent in September

Kitsap County had one of the lowest rates of unemployment in Western… Continue reading

Fishline luncheon to raise funds for programs

Fishline Food Bank and Comprehensive Services in Poulsbo is having a virtual… Continue reading

Most Read