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Poll: Do You Support a Statewide Ban of Plastic Bags?

Edmonds State Sen. Maralyn Chase is hoping a bill she introduced this legislative session will extend the ban statewide.

Shoppers on Mercer Island might have to bring their own shopping bags or pay a nickel for a paper one at local grocery stores like or if a bill banning plastic bags is passed this year in Olympia.

Edmonds Sen. Maralyn Chase, who represents the 32nd District, has introduced Senate Bill 5780, which would ban 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.

Edmonds, the only city in the state where the ban is in effect, approved the ban on single-use, checkout line plastic bags in place in 2009, and Mukilteo, Bellingham and Seattle will enact similar plastic bag restrictions this year.

The bill is 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.

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.

So, we know that stray plastic bags are bad for the environment and wildlife. And we know lots of people already have the reusable grocery bags.

But we also know they sometimes forget them at home and end up asking for plastic. And those bags can come in handy for things like lining small trashcans or picking up after the dog.

Which leads us to ask:

Should Mercer Island ban the use of plastic shopping bags?

Vote in our poll, and tell us what you think in the comments.

Kim Kendall October 09, 2013 at 03:32 AM
WHY I WOULD VOTE YES for a State wide ban: I LOVE BAGS for all of the same uses as others. However, Biodegradable bags of similar strength & thickness are now available, and these bags can be commercially composted. Compostable bags can seamlessly replace plastic bags. Much is made of the benefit of recycling plastic bags, but even if everyone was scrupulous about doing so, it is not usually cost-effective. It takes energy to recycle bags, and much less energy to compost them. Most importantly, I would support a state wide ban for our kids, because I care about our kids, and I understand that the Earth/our Biosphere has a limited carrying capacity for waste containment and use of limited precious natural resources. I want to be a healthy role model for taking good care of the Earth, not wasting natural resources, or endangering marine animals and birds needlessly. I want to model being a good steward of the environment that sustains us and will sustain our children. Here are some interesting facts: Four to five TRILLION plastic bags are produced EVERY YEAR. We use 80% of them in the US and Western Europe. EVERY YEAR Americans throw away 100 BILLION PLASTIC GROCERY BAGS! Most people know by now that hundreds of marine species suffer from entanglement or ingestion of marine debris and plastics cause the most problems for marine animals and birds. Tens of thousands of whales, birds, seals, and turtles die EVERY YEAR from plastic bags. These bags take 1,000 years to break down and the tiny particles left, in truth, may never break down, leaving micronized particles that become concentrated toxins in their bodies (and in ours). Less sad is the impact plastic bags have on clogging drains, crowding landfills and littering the landscape. And for purely selfish reasons, having only one job of putting these bags in the compost versus the complicated job of sorting, cleaning, then wrapping, and the recycling our plastic bags would be a godsend.

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