OLYMPIA, Wa. -- With Gov. Jay Inslee’s signature, the Evergreen State today became the eighth state to ban single-use plastic bags. Two weeks after the state Senate passed a House bill (SB 5323), which also applies an 8-cent charge to paper and reusable plastic bags, Gov. Inslee signed the legislation.
Americans throw away billions of single-use plastic film bags every year. Many of them escape into the environment, where they can persist for hundreds of years and are often fatally mistaken for food by sea turtles and other marine creatures.
Pam Clough, acting state director of Environment Washington, issued the following statement:
“With this new law, Washington has put wildlife over waste. Nothing we use for a couple of minutes should pollute our planet for generations to come, and so we are excited that our elected officials have voted to eliminate one of the worst forms of single-use plastic.
“Environment Washington has talked to tens of thousands of Washintonians about plastic pollution and has collected thousands of petitions calling on our leaders to take action on this crucial issue. Our elected officials knew that their constituents wanted change on this issue and they acted accordingly.”
Alex Truelove, Zero Waste Director, U.S. PIRG, added:
“Single-use plastic shopping bags are not readily recyclable and are one of the most common and hazardous forms of plastic pollution found in the environment. Washington lawmakers made the right decision to ban them and encourage the use of better alternatives. We hope they will continue to move beyond single-use plastic next year and vote to eliminate disposable polystyrene foam containers.
We commend the legislature and Gov. Inslee for acting in the best interest of not only the state but also the country as a whole.”
Environment Washington is a statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization working for a cleaner, greener, healthier future.
WashPIRG is a statewide, citizen-based a consumer group that stands up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security, or our right to fully participate in our democratic society.