The city of Tumwater becomes the latest Washington State municipality to have plastic bag ban. They’ll be doing it similar to what Seattle does with an outright ban on plastic bags and a 5 cent fee on paper ones. Plastic bags are awful, and since Thurston County won’t be able to recycle them anymore soon this may have been a necessity. It also could be larger than just Tumwater.
Once the ban takes effect in Tumwater next July, shoppers who don’t bring their own reusable bags will pay 5 cents per paper bag to offset stores’ costs. Plastic bags that are used for meat or produce, and thicker plastic shopping bags provided by some retailers, are exempt from the ban, as are newspaper bags, doggie bags and dry cleaning bags.
The Thurston County Commission could approve a bag ban as early as next week, and the City of Olympia is expected to follow.
I’d like to see the whole state get rid of plastic bags sooner or later. They’re bad for the environment and tough to get rid of. They’re unsightly: there’s a bag in the tree near my apartment that has been there since before the Seattle ban (I remember writing about it, but can’t find the link), and will probably be there for some time to come. For now, the localities will have to take up the lead. Hopefully with Thurston County as a precedent, other counties can take it up.