South South Surfrider advocated for a Tacoma Reusable Bag Initiative that was passed by the Tacoma City Council in 2016. Similar policies have already been enacted in Seattle, Edmonds, Bellingham, Mukilteo, Bainbridge Island, Issaquah and Port Townsend. California, as recently as November, 2016, passed a very similar state-wide bill.
Approximately 100 billion plastic shopping bags are used in the United States every year, of which less than 5% are recycled. The energy needed to produce these bags (about 5 million barrels of oil) and the long-lasting ecological problems associated with plastic as it breaks down in the environment make plastic grocery bags something that we, as a city, cannot afford. This is why we worked as hard as we did writing letters, meeting with council members, and making public comment to get this ordinance passed.
We are excited to continue to work with the city of Tacoma and local stakeholders to help with the roll-out of the initiative and to make sure we get as many bags as possible into the hands of residents. For any questions or ways you can help, please contact us.