LeMay discontinues plastic film collection
LeMay no longer collects plastic film from the WARC recycle center or from businesses. Read this press release to learn more.
Thurston County Solid Waste staff has been working with the community to explore ways to reduce the estimated 90 million plastic shopping bags we use annually. This work was requested by the Thurston County Solid Waste Advisory Committee (SWAC), which is made up of city, citizen, and industry representatives.
Staff presented the final report, Reducing Our Use: Plastic Shopping Bags, to the Solid Waste Advisory Committee (SWAC) in September 2012. The group approved the report and recommended that the city councils of Thurston County and the Thurston County Commissioners adopt a plastic bag ban.
Solid Waste staff presented the report to all local governments within Thurston County and obtained each jurisdiction's recommendations on how to reduce plastic bag use. Solid Waste provided these recommendations to the Thurston County Board of Commissioners on May 1, 2013.
The Board requested Solid Waste staff to form stakeholders group of businesses, business associations, non-profits, and residents to develop language for an ordinance. The group completed the draft in July 2013. The Board of Commissioners provided the completed ordinance language and a cover letter to all local jurisdictions on August 13, 2013.
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Status of bag ban ordinances in local jurisdictions
|Olympia||Passed bag ban ordinance at Oct. 8, 2013 public hearing.|
|Tenino||Topic of plastic bag ordinance tabled indefinitely.|
|Thurston County||Passed bag ban ordinance at Sept. 24, 2013 public hearing.|
|Tumwater||Passed bag ban ordinance at Sept. 17, 2013 public hearing.|
What Has Been Done in Other Places?
Bans have been adopted around the world. Below are the results from some successful efforts:
Summary of the Thurston County Plastic Bag Project
Our first step was to let the cities know about the work we would be doing.
|Initial City Council Meetings and Work Sessions to discuss the bag outreach project:|
|Bucoda||Apr 10, 2012|
|Yelm||Apr 24, 2012|
|Rainier||Apr 24, 2012|
|Tumwater||May 22, 2012|
|Lacey||June 4, 2012|
|Tenino||June 12, 2012|
|Olympia||Aug 14, 2012|
Thurston County Solid Waste then worked throughout the community for several months to discuss the problems that plastic shopping bags can create and to get ideas from the public on how we can reduce our use. Details of the activities are in the report titled “Reducing Our Use: Plastic Shopping Bags”. The Thurston County Solid Waste Advisory Committee approved the report and included the following:
|This report has made it clear that plastic bags constitute a serious environmental and health hazard. The enumeration of possible solutions, other than a complete ban on the use of bags, makes it clear that the alternatives outlined in this report are not likely to be feasible and effective. We therefore conclude that it is essential to have the same ban on plastic bags that has been adopted by other municipalities in the State of Washington, and we hereby recommend that the city councils of the cities of Thurston County and the Thurston County Commissioners also adopt a plastic bag ban.|
Solid Waste staff then presented the report to each city and requested their recommendation on how to reduce our use of plastic shopping bags.
|Local Government Meetings and Work Sessions to present report and request recommendations:|
|Tumwater - work session||12/11/12||5:30 pm||Minutes||Recommend drafting a bag ban ordinance.|
|Olympia - council meeting||1/15/13||7:00 pm||Minutes||Recommend drafting a bag ban ordinance.|
|Rainier - work session||1/22/13||6:30 pm||Note||Recommend supplier/manufacturer of the plastic bags pay the 5 cents a bag, rather than the consumer.|
|Bucoda - council meeting||2/12/13||7:00 pm||Minutes||Recommend drafting a bag ban ordinance.|
|Yelm - study session||2/27/13||5:00 pm||Minutes||Recommend countywide vote on plastic bag ban.|
|Tenino - council meeting||3/26/13||7:30 pm||Minutes||Recommend drafting a bag ban ordinance.|
|Lacey - council meeting||3/28/13||7:00 pm||Minutes||Recommend drafting a bag ban
Recommend countywide vote on plastic bag ban.
|Thurston County - briefing||5/1/13||9:30 am||Directed staff to form a countywide stakeholders group to draft the ordinance language.|
Plastic Shopping Bags Survey Results
The results are in! See what people in our community have to say about plastic bags.
Thurston County Solid Waste encourages residents to use durable reusable bags to prevent waste in the first place. And wash your bags! Just like the reports a few years ago about kitchen sponges, towels and surfaces, your reusable bags can hold bacteria, virus, and need to be washed regularly. Thurston County Public Health has guidelines for safe reusable bag use.
Remembering to bring your reusable bags when you shop is like learning any new habit - you can do it with time and practice.
Tell us how you remember your reusable bags! Email ThurstonSolidWaste@co.thurston.wa.us.
Watch the "Bag It - Is Your Life too Plastic" Documentary
Do you know how the plastics you use affect your health and environment? It’s time to find out the steps you can take to reduce the impact. We have copies of the DVD to loan if you would like to coordinate a viewing for your church, neighborhood, or community group. Please contact Loni Hanka at firstname.lastname@example.org or (360) 867-2282. Thurston County Television is showing the movie on Channel 3 between March 27 and June 29 every Wednesday at 4:00 pm and Saturdays at 7:00 pm. You can also rent the movie for home use on services such as Amazon or Netflix.
Call Thurston County Public Works at (360) 867-2491 or e-mail ThurstonSolidWaste@co.thurston.wa.us.
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