Thursday, January 12, 2012

Paper or Plastic?

We’ve all been asked the question. But if Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon of Burien has his way, there will be a new question for shoppers in Washington state.

Paper or reusable plastic?

Or no plastic at all?

Rep. Fitzgibbon and representatives from Environment Washington and Fred Meyer held a press conference today introducing House Bill 2404 banning single-use plastic bags from grocery stores.

Four cities in Washington – Bellingham, Edmonds, Mukilteo, and Seattle - have all passed single-use plastic bag bans. If this legislation is approved, a similar ban would be imposed on stores state-wide.

“We know that we have a plastic problem in Puget Sound, and we know that it threatens our wildlife every day,” said Rep. Fitzgibbon. “It is time for Washington to phase out single-use plastic bags.”

A similar bill in the Senate, SB 5779, was heard in the Senate Environment Committee yesterday. Representing the Washington Northwest Grocery Association, Holly Chisa expressed her support for the bag ban.

“We are not opposed to moving away from plastic bags. My grocery stores, which are the larger grocery stores, believe that a bag is a bag and it is time to make the move,” said Chisa.

You can watch that hearing here on and read other stories about the ban here, here, and here.

To read this story in Spanish, click here.