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.