Approximately 80 million single-use plastic grocery bags are used in Tacoma every year. These are items that are difficult to recycle – nationwide, less than five percent of these items are recycled – and they do not break down in landfills. What we encounter with plastic bags is a product that we use for a matter of minutes, but that is designed to last indefinitely. It is time for Tacoma to move past this wasteful and unsustainable product.
Other towns and cities in our area have taken this step to improve their environment and the legacy they are leaving for future generations. Seattle, Portland, Bellingham, Edmonds and Mukilteo all have passed similar bans on single-use bags, and other nearby municipalities are looking at following their example soon.
In Tacoma, we are blessed with a rich and diverse environment that we all enjoy and that each of us is responsible for protecting. Getting these bags out of circulation is a good idea and one whose time has most definitely come.
Something that is designed to last forever should never be considered disposable.