The cities of San Francisco and Seattle are both reconsidering their historic bag ordinances.
In 2008, Seattle City Council passed an ordinance that placed a 20 cent charge on plastic and paper bags. It was the first in Washington state to accomplish this. The plastic industry then lobbied heavily for voters to kill the measure and succeeded in overturning the ordinance by referendum. The City of Edmonds' bag ordinance in 2009 subsequently became the first ordinance to be implemented in Washington, followed by the City of Bellingham's ordinance which passed earlier this year.
But a changing climate with growing retailer support and increasing awareness of the plastic bag issue, coupled with the momentum of bag ordinances being passed across the country, may entice the City of Seattle to reintroduce a bag ordinance. Read more in the Seattle Times.
San Francisco’s 2007 bag ordinance, the first in the nation, is also getting a second look. Just this morning, the City Operations and Neighborhood Services committee unanimously approved a proposal to revamp the city’s plastic bag ban, to cover more stores and place a minimum charge on other single-use and reusable bags. The Board of Supervisors will vote on the expansion on December 6.
See all current actions for local ordinances here.