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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

December 19, 2011 at 11:50 AM

Seattle City Council plastic bag ban vote today

The Seattle City Council will vote Monday afternoon whether to ban plastic shopping bags in grocery, retail and convenience stores. With seven of nine council members signing on to the bill when it was introduced earlier this month, passage is expected.

Environmental groups have urged Seattle to join three other Washington cities, Edmonds, Bellingham and Mukilteo, in enacting bans on thin-film carry-out bags. The groups say a ban would help protect Puget Sound from litter and marine life from ingesting or becoming entangled in the bags.

The plastics industry helped defeat a 2008 proposal that would have charged a 20-cent fee for both plastic and paper bags. Seattle voters subsequently rejected the measure and it never went into effect.

A representative for plastics giant Hilex Poly said Monday that no decision has yet been made about whether to challenge the latest ban, if it is approved. The industry continues to be critical of a city-by-city approach and said a statewide policy that addresses litter control and recycling would be more effective.

“At this time, no decision has been made, but whatever route the industry decides to pursue, Hilex continues to stand by the fact that this is bad policy for the environment and the consumer.  Seattle is going about this the wrong way and misses the opportunity to really tackle the greater issue of litter through a statewide comprehensive recycling program,” said Mark Daniels, vice president for sustainability and environmental policy for Hilex Poly Company.

Comments | More in Government | Topics: ban, plastic bags, Seattle City Council

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