Bainbridge Island – Last night, the Bainbridge City Council voted unanimously in favor of banning single-use plastic bags. Of the more than fifteen people who testified for the ordinance, only one was in opposition. The measure is aimed at cutting pollution in Puget Sound and the Ocean where plastic bags can harm whales, seals and salmon. In 2010, a beached grey whale in West Seattle was found with 20 plastic bags in its stomach, highlighting this terrible problem.
“Nothing we use for a few minutes should end up in the belly of a whale,” said Katrina Rosen of Environment Washington. “On behalf of our members, I want to thank the City Council for adopting this important policy.”
With this new policy, Bainbridge becomes the fifth city in the state to ban plastic bags. The bag ban was pushed forward by city councilor Kirsten Hytopoulous in the hope to join other cities in the state to reduce plastic waste getting into the sound and threatening wildlife.
Bainbridge now joins Seattle, Bellingham, Edmonds, and Mukilteo who have all banned plastic bags. Similar measures are being debated across the state. Votes on plastic bags bans are expected in the coming months from Issaquah, Port Townsend, San Juan County, Lake Forest Park, and Shoreline.
“Bainbridge has established a great example for communities across Washington to follow,” said Rosen. “Policies like these are common-sense solutions that have profound effects in protecting our wildlife.” Environment Washington is continuously working for similar policies across the state. The group plans to pursue a statewide ban on plastic bags when the legislature reconvenes in January.
Environment Washington is a statewide, citizen-based advocacy organization dedicated to clean air, clean water, and open space. For more information, please visit www.environmentwashington.org