Kent’s Fincher part of statewide campaign to ban plastic bags

Two legislators to introduce bills in January in Olympia

Brenda Fincher

Brenda Fincher

Kent City Councilwoman Brenda Fincher joined other politicians at a press conference Wednesday at the Seattle Aquarium to kick off a campaign for the state Legislature to ban plastic bags at grocery stores and retail outlets.

State Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, and Rep. Strom Peterson, D-Edmonds, announced they will introduce companion bills in January in Olympia to address plastic pollution and recycling contamination due to plastic bags. The reusable bag legislation will build off the existing 23 local ordinances, including Seattle, already in place in the state.

“Right now, there are more than 86 million metric tons of plastic in our oceans and the equivalent of five grocery bags of plastic trash for every foot of coastline spills into the oceans annually,” Ranker said in a press release from Environment Washington. “We must lead with bold progressive action to stop plastic waste from ending up in our oceans.”

Customers would be expected to bring their own reuseable bags to stores or could pay as much as 10 cents per bag for paper bags.

Peterson served on the Edmonds City Council when it championed the first reusable bag ordinance in Washington in 2009.

“The problem of plastic bags has only gotten worse since then. They are causing a major contamination problem in our recycling and compost streams,” Peterson said.

Fincher said the Kent City Council’s Public Works Committee will consider a plastic bag ordinance at its December meeting.

“We are seeing plastic litter along the highways and in our public spaces,” Fincher said. “We need to reduce bags so that they don’t end up contributing to the litter going into our creeks and lakes. Numerous countries have banned plastic bags and so we are behind the curve.”

The average American uses 500 bags per year, said Heather Trim, executive director of Zero Waste Washington.

“Let’s choose wildlife over waste,” said Bruce Speight, executive director of Environment Washington. “Moving beyond single-use plastics is something we can do right now, and we look forward to working with the Legislature to make that happen. The passage of the reusable bag bill would be a big step forward in reducing the plastic pollution that threatens wildlife and our environment.”

More in News

Gov. Jay Inslee shakes hands with Dinah Griffey after signing Senate Bill 5649 on April 19. The law revises the statute of limitations for sex crimes. Photo by Emma Epperly, WNPA Olympia News Bureau
Hits and misses from Legislature’s 2019 session

New laws target vaccines, sex crimes and daylight savings; losers include sex ed and dwarf tossing bills.

Muckleshoot Indian Tribe to develop luxury hotel at Auburn casino

Opening in 2021, dynamic resort experience to meet guest demand, the tribe says

Kent Police plan to outfit 101 officers with body-worn cameras

Program will cost about $719,000 per year; red-light cameras to pay for it

Gov. Jay Inslee speaks to protesting nurses on April 24 at the State Capitol Building in Olympia. Inslee indicated he would sign the bill for meal and rest breaks into law if it passes both chambers. Photo by Emma Epperly, WNPA Olympia News Bureau
Lawmakers approve ‘nursing bill’ for mandatory meal and rest breaks

Nurses show up in Olympia to support bill, protest Sen. Walsh’s remarks.

Scott Barden stands next to the pit that will house the newest, and possibly final, section of the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill near Maple Valley. The pit is 120 feet deep, and around another 180 feet will be built on top of it over the next decade. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
King County’s landfill is going to get bigger

A ninth cell will be built, extending its life by another decade.

Northbound SR 167 ramp to I-405 to be closed for 14 hours Saturday night

Get ready for a 14-hour closure this Saturday night, April 27 at… Continue reading

An aircraft is pictured at King County International Airport, also known as Boeing Field. Photo courtesy of kingcounty.gov
King County wants to end deportation flights for ICE

Legal challenge expected from federal government.

Owners of Kent-based electronics recycling firm sentenced to prison for wire fraud conspiracy

Prosecutors: tandem secretly exposed foreign workers to mercury waste to increase corporate profits and enrich themselves

Most Read