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altasnob
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PostThu Aug 27, 2020 9:47 am 
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Governor Jay Inslee signed ESSB 5323 into law, which bans retail establishments from providing single-use, plastic carryout bags. The new law goes into effect January 1, 2021. Retailers will have one year from this date to use up any inventory of plastic bags, unless restricted by a preexisting local ordinance. Permitted carryout bag options include paper or reusable bags, which must meet minimum standards set by the state.

For the purposes of these new regulations, a retail establishment is defined as:
any person, corporation, partnership, business, facility, vendor, organization, or individual that sells or provides food, merchandise, goods, or materials directly to a customer including home delivery, temporary stores, or vendors at farmers markets, street fairs, and festivals.

In some cases, the states definition of a retail establishment differs from local ordinances. The types of businesses included under the new state definition are more comprehensive: notably, including restaurants that were not previously included in all local policies.

The new law will also require retailers to collect a pass-through charge of $0.08 for every paper or reusable bag provided to customers. This pass-through charge will increase to $0.12 per bag starting January 1, 2026. These are to be considered taxable retail sales and the details of all charges must be clearly shown on customer receipts. Retailers are not to collect pass-through charges from customers using voucher or electronic benefits programs, such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Banning plastic bags statewide is anticipated to result in increased usage of paper bags. To accommodate this increased demand, this bill establishes an expedited permitting process for expansion or reconfiguration of existing pulp and paper mills. This will remain in effect until June 1, 2025.

http://mrsc.org/Home/Stay-Informed/MRSC-Insight/August-2020-1/Washington-Enacts-Statewide-Bag-Ban.aspx
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Ski
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PostThu Aug 27, 2020 11:14 am 
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Cyclopath
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PostThu Aug 27, 2020 11:51 am 
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Amazing that there's any opposition to this at all.
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Ski
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PostThu Aug 27, 2020 12:36 pm 
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who's opposed?

shall I break out my torches and pitchforks?

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altasnob
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PostThu Aug 27, 2020 12:42 pm 
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I don't personally oppose the new law. But there as a Dutch study a year ago claiming that using reusable shopping bags was even more environmentally destructive that using plastic bags. The study had its flaws but I did like that they looked at this issue with a wider lens and question how environmentally friendly all of our actions are.
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seattlenativemike
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PostThu Aug 27, 2020 2:14 pm 
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...need a new plan for the scooped cat litter now
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Jeff
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PostThu Aug 27, 2020 3:07 pm 
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Trader Joe's won't let me use a reusable bag because they are scared of the cooties. They pack my groceries in a box now.
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PostThu Aug 27, 2020 3:47 pm 
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^ As I recall, they were one of the first retailers who made that move, which (in retrospect) was most likely the best thing to do.

In 2017, 65.8 percent of all paper consumed in the U.S. was recovered for recycling, and the recovery rate has met or exceeded 63 percent for the past nine years.

Only about 8.4% of plastic is recycled in the US.

While I am in full agreement with the views of Mr. Carlin (see video cited above), I still recall vividly the afternoon I took the wrong turn heading north out of Wendover, Utah.
Instead of turning onto the road that winds around the Silver Island Mountains, I took a wrong turn and ended up driving right into the local landfill, a desolate depression at the edge of the desert, where discarded plastic bags were strewn from horizon to horizon.

Sorry, but I just don't see how an outright ban on throw-away plastic bags is a bad thing over the long term. Remember that China is no longer buying our recycled plastic, and the reality is that nationwide our recycling programs are at best hit and miss.

I doubt there are many here who are able to recall grocers who wrapped your purchases up with brown kraft paper and tied it with cotton twine, like they used to do at Lincoln Grocery at 38th & South G Street.

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Cyclopath
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PostThu Aug 27, 2020 6:12 pm 
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Ski wrote:
who's opposed?

Enough people that this didn't happen 20 years ago?  Mention shopping bags in front of one particular nwhiker and he'll launch into a ten page diatribe about how if everybody thought properly there would be no more problems in the world.

altasnob wrote:
I don't personally oppose the new law. But there as a Dutch study a year ago claiming that using reusable shopping bags was even more environmentally destructive that using plastic bags. The study had its flaws but I did like that they looked at this issue with a wider lens and question how environmentally friendly all of our actions are.

That link doesn't go where you intended so I can't go check for myself.  What do they mean exactly by environmentally destructive?  Because there are a lot of plastic shopping bags floating in the oceans, and they'll still be breaking down billions of years from now when the sun expands and boils the oceans away.
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altasnob
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PostThu Aug 27, 2020 6:32 pm 
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Sorry, wrong link. Here is the one I tried to put in:

https://medium.com/@parkpoomkomet/breaking-down-the-danish-study-on-the-environmental-impacts-of-grocery-carrier-bags-b8c97eb6c8fb

and another:

https://qz.com/1585027/when-it-comes-to-climate-change-cotton-totes-might-be-worse-than-plastic/

They point out how many resources are needed to produce a cotton bag. And another factor is if plastic bags are allowed, people tend to reuse those plastic bags and use them for other purposes. If you ban plastic bags, it forces these people to purchase plastic bags and these tend to be thicker plastic than the extremely thin plastic grocery bags. For example, people reuse plastic grocery bags for dog poop bags. With the plastic bag ban, you have to purchase dog poop bags.

There was a lot of critique of the study, so not saying it is correct. But you were asking for an opposing view point.
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Randito
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PostThu Aug 27, 2020 6:46 pm 
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Each technology for carrying your purchases has it environmental costs.  I tend to skeptical of studies that make claims that reusables are worse than single use items as there are robust interests in keeping the status quo.

To me this is a bit of a "meh" as where I shop for small amounts of stuff there was already a 5 cent per bag "discount" for bringing your own bag ( until last March anyway).

I buy most of the rest of my food at either CostCo or PCC where single use bags are none existant or paper.
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dirtbaguette
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PostThu Aug 27, 2020 6:50 pm 
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seattlenativemike wrote:
...need a new plan for the scooped cat litter now

Thats what I was just thinking. I reuse the shopping bags as trash bags in the car or bathroom trash can.

Overall, Im happy that this is happening so Ill bite the bullet and buy the small dainty trash bags instead.
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graffiti
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PostFri Aug 28, 2020 7:25 am 
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They've been banned here in Thurston County for a while (couple years?). Lately, all the stores have ran out of paper bags or something and now they all, or at least the two I normally go to, are using plastic bags again.

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And the meek shall inherit the Earth...um...if that's ok with you.
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PostFri Aug 28, 2020 7:37 am 
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I have read that loggers sought perfectly clear, old growth Sitka spruce for making musical instruments, but if they cut one and it wasn't perfect, they would just leave it lying there.  Similarly, historians of the future will marvel at our shortsightedness on hydrocarbons, able to think of no better uses than single-use plastics and motor fuel.   shakehead.gif

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Between every two pines is a doorway to the new world. - John Muir
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Anne Elk
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PostFri Aug 28, 2020 8:15 am 
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I only wonder why plastic carry-out bags are singled out when there is so much more that's packaged in plastic that is just as polluting.  Soda and water bottles, plastic packaging for everything you can imagine (Trader Joes, as much as I love them, is big on this).  How about a return to glass? (weight issue aside)

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