SEATTLE — This week, Seattle became the latest city to propose a total ban on single-use plastic bags, when the City Council introduced Bill 117345, intended to help clean up Puget Sound and protect marine wildlife.
In addition to a ban on single-use plastic bags, the ordinance will require retailers to charge a 5-cent pass-through cost for each paper bag used for shoppers who do not bring a reusable bag when shopping. According to a release from the Seattle City Council, the nickel surcharge is intended to remind shoppers to bring their own bags. Retailers will keep these fees to defray any costs associated with eliminating plastic bags.
Local co-op PCC Natural Markets, which stopped offering plastic bags in 2007, praised the bill.
“PCC wholeheartedly endorses this highly visible and impactful step the City of Seattle is taking to reduce the considerable and unnecessary waste generated by the distribution of single-use plastic shopping bags,” PCC’s Chief Executive Officer Tracy Wolpert said in a release. “We know from experience that consumers will ultimately view this ban as an initiative proposed with the health and safety of our communities and the environment in mind.”