Plastic Bag Ban? Sen. Maralyn Chase Seeks Statewide Bill

Edmonds is currently the only city in the state with a plastic bag ban in effect. Mukilteo, Bellingham and Seattle will enact a similar ban this year.

Plastic bags are available nearly everywhere in the City of Renton; however, that may change if a bill supported by Sen. Maralyn Chase of the 32nd District is successful.

Chase has introduced Senate Bill 5780, which proposes a statewide ban on the use of “carry out” bags given to customers at the point of sale. Other types of bags would still be permitted, including those used for meat, vegetable and dairy products, among others.

The bill was the subject of a public hearing Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in the Senate Environment Committee.

Chase’s bill isn’t the only one legislators will have in front of them. According to The Seattle Times, Rep. Joe Fitzgibbons, D-Burien, is also submitting a version of the bag ban in the House of Representatives.

In 2009, Edmonds became the first city in Washington state to in grocery stores. Edmonds’ ban became effective Aug. 27, 2010, and the city is still the only one in the state where the ban is active. Similar bans in , and have passed and will be implemented later this year.

At this point, bag bans have slight differences. Seattle's ban, for example, includes a 5-cent fee on the use of paper bags from stores. It is set to take effect in July. Edmonds does not have the fee.

Shortly after the City of Edmonds implemented the ban, we asked you how you felt in a poll,"Should Renton ban the use of plastic shopping bags?" We received 74 votes. Here's the breakdown:

  • 41% said—Definitely. We need to protect the planet.
  • 40% said—No. Let’s just try reminding each other first to put the canvas bags in the car before we leave home.
  • 17% said—You’ll get my plastic bags when you pry them from my full trashcans.
  • 0% responded with "Don't care."

Now that a ban may be implemented that will affect you, we'd like to pose the question again, "Should Renton ban the use of plastic shopping bags?" Please vote in our poll and tell us why in the comment box below.


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