The island’s ban on plastic shopping bags begins Thursday. We’ve posted some of the basics below. Let us know what you think of the bag ban by taking our poll below or leaving a comment.
Why a bag ban?
The City Council unanimously approved the bag ban this spring as a way of reducing litter and unnecessary waste, while promoting reusable bags. Bainbridge is the fifth Washington city to ban plastic bags and the first in Kitsap County. Seattle banned plastic shopping bags in July.
What are the rules?
Starting Thursday, retailers are no longer allowed to provide those thin, single-use plastic bags at checkout. Paper bags will still be available, but the ordinance requires retailers to charge 5 cents for larger paper bags (this doesn’t apply to qualifying low income shoppers).
There are a few exceptions to the ban. Plastic bags are allowed for restaurant take-out food, produce, greeting cards, small hardware items, newspapers, dry cleaning and waste.
What stores does this apply to?
Short answer: All of them. This ban applies to all retailers across the island, not just supermarkets. It also applies to farmers markets and vendors at festivals. Food banks can still use plastic bags.
Where can I get reusable bags?
Reusable bags are available at island grocery stores and some other retailers. The city is handing out a cloth “Bainbridge Bag” tonight during the Winslow trick-or-treat event from 4-6 p.m, and at the library and City Hall starting Thursday.
Where can I get more information?
The city has more details and links on its Sustainable Practices page. If you’re interested in the nitty gritty, you can read the ordinance here. Watch for a full bag ban story Thursday in the Kitsap Sun.
Photo credit: Larry Steagall/Staff Photo