Tacoma Latest City to Consider Ban on Plastic Shopping Bags
Fortunately, most of this movement is still confined to the West side, but it appears to be spreading. In an effort to combat the growing garbage and landfill space issues in the neighboring city to Seattle, Tacoma officials plan to vote in May on whether to adopt a cit-wide ban on plastic shopping bags.
This week, according to NW Cable News, opponents and supporters attended a meeting held by the Tacoma City Sustainability Committee. Supporters talked about keeping water ways and streets cleaner by not having the bags blowing about.
But opponents ridiculed it as a symbolic useless gesture that only makes people think they're making a difference. Many of these folks came up from nearby Olympia, where such a ban is in place. These people said it really hasn't made much difference in reducing the amount of trash seen along roads, streets, or in the landfill.
Some critics also say plastic bag bans bring new health related issues, that stem from cloth shopping bags. They say studies show if the bags are not frequently or properly washed, they can spread bacteria and contaminants onto food items, making people sick.
Supporters say residents of Bellingham and Seattle, who also have such bans, have "grown accustomed" to not being able to shop with the bags, and Tacoma residents will too. They make these arguments despite evidence from city refuse officials indicating plastic bags make up only a small portion of the city's overall waste.
A permanent yes or no vote by the council is expected in May.