Search This Blog

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Bags: Darn, Forgot to Bring Mine!

So, the conundrum is: 

Single use bags?
Ban them?
Bag Fee?
Paper bags?

Reuseable bags?
 • Remember to bring?
 • Forgot mine?
 • Always have one?

Answer - the Chico Bag 
Holiday promotion page from Chico Bag site
(no - I do not work for Chico Bag)

As many readers may know, banning "single-use bags" is the latest trend.  Seattle City Council just voted to ban them UNANIMOUSLY. Edmonds, Mukilteo and Bellingham have also banned them.

We've all seen photos or heard the stories about innocent wildlife dying or seriously threatened by the "single use plastic bags" which are so numerous they are almost uncountable. 

People for Puget Sound and many other groups have championed the ban passed in Seattle and other local cities. 

Well, many of us face the problem of getting to the store check out or hopping out of our vehicle and 
"Doh! Forgot my bag, DARN!" 

I have many, many (dozens)  of beautiful reusable bags, in my broom closet and all over my office and full of books and papers.  It seems like you pick one up every time you attend a public meeting! For FREE!
My broom closet FULL of beautiful, reusable bags!
But fortunately, at one of these wonderful meetings, I was given a free Chico-Bag! And now I'm "hooked" (literally). I even bought one when I saw it for sale. I always have it hooked to my purse. 
So, I always have it with me, and virtually never have to resort to a single use plastic bag. (I know I'm not that virtuous, but this really works!!!)  Try one! They are cheap, handy, durable, hold a lot of groceries, and small when curled up in their little pouch. And they are CUTE! 

So now Shoreline - How about it? A few years ago, several of us on the City Council suggested trying it. We were told by staff, we should wait till Seattle does it so as not to penalize our small businesses. So NOW Seattle, Edmonds, Mukilteo, and Bellingham have done it. 

Yesterday, Shoreline/LFP PATCH Blog did an informal poll. Banning the bags is now at 57%. Granted it's not a scientific poll, but there does seem to be support for the idea. 

Here is the recent press release on the "Bag Ban" passed by Seattle City Council from 

Environmental Groups Applaud Seattle City Council for their Leadership on Bags

Bag ordinance passes:  plastic bag ban, 5 cents on paper bags. goes into effect 7/1/12

Seattle. The Seattle City Council today unanimously passed the Seattle Bag Ordinance (Council Bill 11734).  This vote was applauded by the coalition of environmental groups – Environment Washington, Surfrider Foundation, People For Puget Sound, Sierra Club, Zero Waste Seattle, and others – who have been working to develop grassroots support for the ordinance.
Special praise goes to Council Member Mike O’Brien for his leadership on the bag ordinance and the phone book opt-out ordinance last year.
“This ordinance to ban plastic bags is part of a larger Zero Waste initiative that also includes a ban on styrofoam, citywide residential organics composting, and providing our residents and businesses with a chance to stop unwanted yellow pages deliveries. These are all concrete steps towards reducing unnecessary waste in Seattle,” said O’Brien.  “We are saving the city money and we are reducing impacts on the environment.  Building towards our waste reduction goals are also a key part of our overall efforts to be a carbon neutral city by 2050.”
The Bag Ordinance passed by Seattle City Council bans thin single-use plastic bags at checkout stands.  The ordinance includes a pass through fee of 5 cents for paper bags.  .
The Seattle bag ordinance has the same requirements as the Bellingham ordinance passed in July.  Edmonds and Mukilteo have banned plastic bags and did not include a 4 cent carry-through fee.


  1. Gee whiz Janet, what do you want dog walkers to use to clean up after their dogs? Or do you want to tax dogs too? Dog walkers recycle plastic bags as pooper scoopers and other people have uses for plastic bags after bringing them home, many people bring them back to the store.

    but it's just too easy for you to oversimplify the problem and jump on your holier than thou soap box.

    1. Dog walkers are not only responsible for picking up the poop, they are responsible for supplying the bag for picking up the poop. The grocery store or whatever source supplies your plastic bags is not responsible for your dog duties. You are. You will have to start buying the bags. And, while you're at it, maybe think about buying the biodegradable ones, so that the poop can go back to the earth instead of being permanently enshrined in its own plastic repository.

  2. Dear Anonymous,

    Thank you for picking up after your dog. It's the lest you can do.

  3. Thank you Janet for this post! I keep piles of re-usable bags in my car, sometimes forget to take into the store, but am mostly trained now.

    To Anonymous - the vast majority of people do not, have never, and will never recycle plastic bags. Good for you for being in the minority on this one. BTW, you can get "plastic" bags for pet waste that will decompose - unlike the actual plastic ones.

  4. "picking up after your dog is the least you can do," how nice, the least you can do, what a way to win support for your latest cause.

    I guess dog owners are on your list, using one of your favorite phrases, "evil doers."

    Last time I checked, if you have license for your dog, you aren't breaking the law. Cats are supposed to be licensed too and outdoor cats also contribute to problems of water quality, but few cat owners ever bother to license them; not to mention the fact that outdoor cats are decimating the song bird population in their northern breeding grounds.