Bag Ban Update, Etc.

Since my post on Friday, which appreciated Haggen for their support of an ordinance currently under consideration by the Bellingham City Council, to ban the use by retailers of single-use plastic shopping bags, John Stark at The Bellingham Herald reports that the ordinance could very well be passed tonight!

Well, in my rush to thank Haggen Food & Pharmacy for their endorsement of the ban, I didn’t take the time to research where the other locally-based regional supermarket chain, The Markets, stood on the issue, and much to my delight Stark reports that they, too, support the ban.

Incidentally, The Markets caught my eye last week for another good reason, as I read about their new store on Lakeway, where they are really making an effort to adopt the kind of sustainable practices Bellingham is known for:

– Local food and sustainability also are focal points, according to Weatherill. To him, “local” means farmers and vendors within 35 miles, and he has 50 local vendors featuring 400 products. He also believes in telling the stories of the local vendors; inside the store are 29 flat-screen televisions, many of which will have company-produced videos of local vendors talking about their products and their story. In the produce area, half of the products are organically grown. In the seafood section, the food caught and sold must meet requirements endorsed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

But really, back to the bag ban, most of the applause and credit for it has to go to City Council Member Seth Fleetwood, who introduced the ordinance, and the folks at Bag It Bellingham who campaigned tirelessly to gain citywide support from retailers and consumers. Founding member Brooks Anderson, in fact, is paraphrased as identifying an angle in the success of the campaign that I hadn’t even thought of:

She noted that retailers have already been taking steps to encourage shoppers to carry reusable bags, because they want to eliminate the cost of providing shopping bags.

It’s like airlines charging to check bags, or for in-flight meals, only for a good cause!

Bag It Bellingham’s accomplishment can’t be understated, really, when you consider, as Stark mentions, that People for Puget Sound, a much larger, longer-established organization, failed in their attempt to bring about a ban in Seattle a couple of years ago.

Hooray, Bellingham!

One thought on “Bag Ban Update, Etc.

  1. Pretty proud of the city of subdued excitement managing to not only get this all pulled together but to find a system that was already working (portland) and base it off that. why reinvent the wheel. Looking forward to next year when it starts.

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