KITSAP, Wash. — Editor's note: the above video was originally published in November 2018.
Kitsap County has officially joined the movement to limit the use of plastic bags. Along with Bremerton, they will be outlawing plastic bags beginning January 1, 2020.
The ordinance states:
“Retail establishments shall not provide to any customer at the point-of-sale a paper bag or reusable carryout bag made of film plastic that does not meet recycled content requirements. For each recycled paper carryout bag or reusable carryout bag made of film plastic provided by the retail establishment, it shall collect a pass-through charge of not less than $0.08 and such shall be clearly indicated on the customer transaction receipt.”
Bans on single-use plastic bags have been on the rise with images of damaged wildlife and landscapes caused by plastic bags surfacing.
“At the loading rate we’re at right now, in 2025 there will be a pound of plastic in the ocean for every three pounds of fish,” said Chris Piercy, program supervisor in Kitsap County's solid waste division. “By 2050 that scale is supposed to tip to the point where we are one to one or worse.”
Retailers such as Kroger, the owner of Fred Meyer, hope that by 2025, plastic bags will no longer be a problem nationwide.
Kitsap County Solid Waste has been handing out reusable canvas bags to spread awareness and educate the community about the consequences of plastic bags.
So far, with the help of Kitsap Regional Libraries, the Givens Community and Senior Center in Port Orchard and North Kitsap Senior Citizens Center, and pop-up events, they have been able to hand out over 5,000 reusable bags.
“In general, it’s been an overall positive reception that we’ve been receiving out in the public,” said Piercy.
They will be at the Kitsap County Fair from August 21 to August 25 to hand out reusable bags.