Did you know that Washingtonians use approximately 2 billion single-use plastic carry-out bags annually? These thin plastic bags are used for only a few minutes and discarded. Only 6% of these bags are ever recycled. Plastic bags blow into our waterways and the ocean, clog the stomachs of wildlife, and break down into smaller pieces that make their way into the food chain. Plastic bags also clog recycling equipment – costing money because they must be extracted – and are the major contaminant in our commercial compost. Surfrider Foundation and Coalition partners are supporting the Reusable Bag Act in the Washington Legislature in the 2019 session. This bill would eliminate thin carry-out plastic bags at all retail establishments and include a pass-through charge to motivate people to bring their own reusable bags and help cover the stores’ cost of more expensive bags.
Now is a great time to add your voice to the growing chorus in support of reducing plastic pollution! Whether you’re a business or an NGO, you can easily show your support by signing onto our petition letter. As stewards of our waterways, beaches, Salish Sea, and the Pacific Ocean, and as business leaders in our local communities, we ask for your support in helping to protect our public land, waters, and communities from the impacts of single-use plastics by supporting the Washington Reusable Bag Act.
Perhaps you’re the owner of an Ocean Friendly Restaurant that is taking steps to minimize your use of single-use plastic in your business, we’d love to have your support on this effort as well and tell us what you’re experience has been like since you’ve made the change!