The proposed bill would restrict the provision of single-use plastic carryout bags in grocery and retail stores across Washington state. (Sue Misao / The Herald)

The proposed bill would restrict the provision of single-use plastic carryout bags in grocery and retail stores across Washington state. (Sue Misao / The Herald)

Legislators seek to reduce pollution by limiting plastic bags

The law would require stores to collect 10 cents for each recycled-content paper carryout bag.

By Madeline Coats / 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 was 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 conservation goals, Peterson said 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 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.

Snohomish recently joined dozens of other cities in the state to adopt similar bans. Edmonds was the first place in Washington to enact this kind of law, about a decade ago. Last month the city also banned single-use, non-compostable food containers. Everett banned plastic bags in December.

The Washington Newspaper Publishers Association’s Olympia news bureau consists of student journalists and recent graduates.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Officers surrounded a Motel 6 near Everett Tuesday morning after a reported rape. A man tried to flee but was subdued and arrested. (Ellen Dennis / The Herald) 20210615
Man arrested after standoff at motel over reported rape

Surrounded by a SWAT team near Everett, the man tried to flee but was subdued with pepper balls.

Trina Davis watches the while playing a game for ASA Tel Aviv in Israel. (Moshik Oshri)
She fled rocket fire in Israel for the safety of Marysville

MPHS grad Trina Davis was enjoying her first professional soccer season when the fighting broke out.

Arlington man claims he ‘lost control,’ stabbed wife to death

Police said Homero Osuna Gonzalez, 25, stole his wife’s phone and pretended to be her as he fled a murder scene.

Highway 99 fatal crash victim from Seattle identified

Sarah Cooper was the passenger in the car that reportedly crossed into oncoming traffic in Lynnwood.

Washingtonians for Change protesters rally in front of South Whidbey High School. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)
Whidbey groups clash over ‘critical race theory’ in school

One organizer said because most students are white, she saw no reason for a “Black Lives Matter” banner.

Early morning gunshots in Mukilteo lead to arrest

Detectives learned the shots were related to a domestic violence incident.

Hay Look Me Over, a Biewer terrier, with her handler, Molly Speckhardt, left, and owner Lynn McKee, of Lake Stevens. The 2-year-old terrier won a Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show ribbon for second, or next best, among the girls in her class. (Submitted photo)
Hairy Lake Stevens pooch wins classy ribbon at Westminster

Hay Look Me Over competed in the new class of Biewer terriers. A Pekingese stole the whole show.

Parolee accused of raping stranger on way to work in Everett

Bail set at $250,000 for James Spitzer, who served time for a shootout with a Nevada sheriff’s sergeant in 2011.

Claiming a man pointed a gun at him, Kevin Rodriguez testifies in court at the Snohomish County Courthouse on Thursday, June 10, 2021, in Everett, Washington. Rodriguez was convicted of manslaughter for killing Evodio Garcia Martinez.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Jury convicts Monroe man of manslaughter in grisly stabbing

Kevin Rodriguez, 30, went on trial for murder in a 2019 knife attack. He stabbed three roommates.

Most Read