Tacoma Votes to Ban Plastic Shopping Bags, Adds Fee on Others
Not only will you have to provide your own shopping bags in Tacoma, but it's going to cost you more now.
Seattle's dingy little neighbor to the south became the latest city to ban those thin but incredibly useful plastic bags we load up with lots of goodies. Tuesday, the council voted 8-1 to ban them. Stores will also be charging a $.5 cent fee for paper and other carryout bags they offer.
So, the only way to not get dinged is to bring in those cloth or canvas shopping bags you're seeing more of. However, according to various reports, it costs nearly twice as much in resources and energy used to produce one of these bags as opposed to plastic. In order to offset the plastic bag, you would have to shop at least 173 times using the cloth one. If you utilize the plastic bag for any other purpose after groceries, such as lining a waste basket, double that time. Plus plastic bags can be recycled.
And, more studies are showing that unless they are washed regularly, the cotton or canvas style bags become breeding grounds for bacteria and other health-related bugagoos.
The argument made by environmentalists is that the bags are reportedly clogging and using up landfills on the West side.
The vote was 8-1 in favor of the ban. The lone dissenter, Councilman Joe Lonegan, said he had issues with the city charging a fee, but allowing someone else to keep the money. While that initially sounds like government greed, he actually has a point. If they're going to charge the fee, at least let the city keep some of it to help pay for other services, possibly saving taxpayers money in the long run.
The ban goes into effect next year, there will be an exception made for traveling shows and events that take place at the Convention Center and Tacoma Dome.