Plastic bag ban should stay put

January 28, 2014

By Staff

Issaquah city voters, pick up your ballot and vote no to repealing the ban on plastic bags.
Issaquah residents may be even more environmentally minded than their counterparts in Seattle, where the bag ban is a fact of life. While not everyone is happy to bring their own shopping bags to businesses here, the bag ban offers a little “feel-good” moment when you know you’ve done the right thing — whether you opt for no bag at all or choose a 5-cent paper bag.

Visit a grocery store outside of Issaquah and notice the mountains of plastic bags lining the ends of check-out stands. It’s actually rather shocking, now that Issaquah stores near the one-year anniversary of the bag ban.
Certainly, the lack of bags has not stopped littering in the city. The drainage ditches and medians have their share of candy wrappers, paper cups and aluminum cans, just like any city. But we’re getting there. We’re trying. We’re committed to preservation of the salmon in the streams, clear drinking water and a healthy home for wildlife.
The bag ban has taken some getting used to, but Issaquah should stand proud that residents did this together. It is not just an annoyance, it is a way of life for the 21st century. Let’s not turn back now.
Vote no on Proposition 1.

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16 Responses to “Plastic bag ban should stay put”

  1. Ken Holmes on January 29th, 2014 10:24 am

    The “staff” recommends keeping the ban in place. Then they go on to say that people don’t like it, it doesn’t do anything environmentally, and it’s just a “feel-good” law that has done nothing to combat litter. Those are precisely the reason to repeal the ban.

    Look, I know that people want to be as “green” as possible, but all the facts are not being represented here. Plastic bags make up less than 1/2 of 1% of all litter and landfill volume. Plastic bag manufacturing uses far less resources than paper or reusable bags and creates far less pollution of air and water. Plastic bags are lightweight and compact, stronger than paper, waterproof, and (gasp!) reused by a majority of people.

    I was at the council meeting where this ban was decided, and one of the strongest voices in favor of a ban was the Northwest Grocery Association – an organization who represents, according to their website, the “Pacific Northwest’s $70 billion dollar grocery industry”. Their lobbying job is to help grocery stores make more money. Period. They aren’t an environmental group, so why are they involved? Because they know that people reuse checkout bags for trash, picking up after the pooch, as diaper bags, etc., and that cuts into their profits. They would rather sell you packaged plastic bags (truly single use) and reusable bags, and paper bags – for which the law mandates that they charge at least 5 cents for.

    This law has nothing to do with the environment, as shown by the 100% lack of results on that front, and everything to do with money. .

    Repeal the bag ban.

  2. Amanda on January 29th, 2014 5:38 pm

    Chloroform manufacturing uses far less resources than soda and creates far less pollution of air and water. Therefore we should replace all of our soda machines with pure liquid chloroform. Wait, that doesn’t make sense….

    This logic fails because it focuses on small part of the product life cycle. Plastic bags are smaller, carry less groceries and weigh less, so of course they’re going to have a smaller manufacturing footprint. However, when you zoom out and look at the materials used in manufacturing (always fossil fuels) , the transportation of those materials to a factory, the reuse of the item (at most once), the potential for recycling (0.05%), the pollution created in disposal, and the end health effects on humans and wildlife, you will find that plastic bags are much worse for the environment than paper, cloth, or recycled plastic.

    So yes, If you only look at the manufacturing step, plastic bags look great. However, your conclusions break down when looking at the life cycle “cradle to grave.”

    Many plastic bags end up in our streams, lakes and oceans. I don’t think you’ll be able to find a sea captain who has ever pulled up a canvas bag out of the ocean. But you can find plenty who’ve pulled up nonbiodegradable plastic bags which smother fish nests or choke sea birds.

    As the editors said, this law is the first step towards cleaning up our environment. That we haven’t made a huge dent yet means that we have a long way to go.

  3. Amy Hunter on January 29th, 2014 5:45 pm

    To the issaquah press: I also think if they can recycle plastic they should stay and the paper should go away so there is no charge of. 05. Amy Lee Hunter

  4. Doug on January 31st, 2014 7:54 am

    I’m sure if the Press wasn’t exempted from the ban and had to provide a newspaper tube for every person who received a Press they would be singing a different tune.

  5. Craig Keller on January 31st, 2014 9:50 am

    Why am I not surprised that the NUMBER ONE source of Issaquah’s plastic litter WHO IS ALSO EXEMPTED FROM THIS PLASTIC BAG BAN wishes to assuage its guilt with editorial encouragement that we remain slaves.

    Its time for adults to “smoke” nanny statism with a “YES” vote to abolish the ban.

    Visit for balance and better information.

  6. Amanda on January 31st, 2014 3:08 pm

    While equating a small town plastic bag ban with the institution of slavery is not the most offensive thing you’ve ever done or said, Craig, it’s pretty high up there.

    By the way, your group left some trash on my car a few months ago. You know, with the $50,000 you are costing our town, we could’ve bought 1 million paper bags. Seems like it would’ve been a fun bonding activity for our town to plaster every car in West Seattle with a paper bag saying “Save Our Town from Intrusive West Seattlites!”

  7. Jimu on January 31st, 2014 6:45 pm

    Amanda, in your calculations you didn’t account for the fact that people now have to BUY plastic bags instead of reuse the shopping bags for such things as garbage can liners, kitty litter, etc.

    People that live in Issaquah care about their surroundings and the impact that their actions have on our environment. But we’ve been duped into thinking a trendy do-nothing bag ban is environmentalism.

    The reason that this was started in the first place was because the original sponsor of the bag-ban bill was running for higher office and needed an “environmental stamp” on his resume.

    No more fake feel-good gimmicks. Vote yes on the repeal and let’s put our efforts and resources toward causes that will have an actual impact.

  8. David on February 2nd, 2014 10:52 pm

    While it took me some adjusting to bring bags into the store, I got over it and I understood the logic of it. I’m sorry I wasn’t doing it on my own before. And that’s the point to me. If we can’t do such simple things on our own, I’m ok with a little encouragement by the city. That’s there job sometimes. I respect it.

    If we can’t do such a simple thing a bring in bags to use how will we ever accomplish anything as a community. It’s like the repeal effort is arguing that the want to be wasteful and environmentally irresponsible – paper or plastic, doesn’t matter. Like its more important to fight, then do what is right. It’s sad that people want to spend their time and our money this way when there are so many other ways they could be truly helpful.

  9. Valerie King on February 3rd, 2014 12:07 pm

    I’ve read several printed articles over the past few months of bag-banning fans squawking about outsiders (those beyond the city limits) disliking the bag ban and wanting to repeal it. Many a comment has indicated that only the opinion of the people within the CITY LIMITS should matter. It’s absolutely disgusting how such comments ooze arrogance & self-centeredness. The City of Issaquah should be happy that though its boundaries are relatively small, its merchants have been able to draw customers from FAR BEYOND ITS CITY LIMITS–Renton, Fall City, Snoqualmie, North Bend. I would venture that more than half of your city’s business comes from shoppers OUTSIDE OF YOUR CITY LIMITS. People who are not a part of your community pour their money into your community. That should be something you value highly and give consideration to. But instead, you ooze scorn and disrespect for the opinions of people who patronize you from outside. Apparently you prefer your “feel-good” moment to serving outsiders. You seem to think “to hell with outsiders; this is what WE want.” Well, I’ll gladly give you what you want. It’s only a few more miles to Bellevue, and they will welcome me!

  10. Amanda on February 4th, 2014 3:30 pm

    Really? It’s “arrogant” for a city government to enact legislation that benefits its citizens as well as surrounding municipalities? It’s self-centered to try to clean up our polluted lake? Your organization is seriously scraping the bottom of the barrel with that one. Even the cat feces argument is better.

    eeing as how many of the outsiders of our businesses are from Seattle, which DID pass a bag ban, it seems as if we’re treating them with consideration and respect by letting them know that we, too, care about the health of Puget Sound.

    If you’d like avoid future scorn, try not going door to door to push your libertarian agenda. Or perhaps stop yourself from confronting everyone who exits the grocery store (unless you are selling girl scout cookies). And maybe next time, if you really want to be respected by our town, try to refrain from leaving garbage on our cars at the park and lot. Just some helpful tips. If you want to be respected, try being respectful.

    I wouldn’t wish a plague of SaveOurChoice mobsters upon any city. We’d better warn Bellevue ahead of time.

  11. Adam J. on February 4th, 2014 7:06 pm

    Amy Lee Hunter….my thoughts exactly! Funny coming from the Issaquah press who refuses to stop delivering me the paper, which I DO NOT WANT! How much paper is being wasted as they litter our streets with THEIR PAPER wrapped in PLASTIC BAGS!?!? Gotta love the HYPOCRISY!

    FYI I REUSE my plastic bags I get from the store….your physical paper? I can’t even wipe my butt with it.

  12. Terry C on February 9th, 2014 10:07 pm

    Vote YES on Prop 1 to REPEAL this plastic bag ban! And come on out for the victory party on Tues 2/11/14 evening.

    I am SO thankful to Craig Keller and many devoted volunteers of SaveOurChoice .us who sacrificed many days and evenings knocking door-to-door and gathered some 2626 valid signatures to return the voting right to its citizens. That is how law is to be made, it is Of The People, By the People, and For the People!

    It is time for us to send a message Loud and Clear to the lawmakers; that they are elected to SERVE the Public. Not otherwise.

    Watch these two 6 min movies: — Are You Being Told the Truth about Plastic Bags?

    and — Outrageous Hypocrisy of Plastic Bag Bans

    If you want more articles and movies, come to this blog:; 8/2013 To Read and To Watch.

    Join us! Activate! 2014 is the year for action. Email
    to get involved or for more info.

  13. Just saying on February 17th, 2014 1:27 pm

    I find it funny that the original sponsor of the bag ban still uses plastic carryout bags at his Zeek’s franchise in the Highlands.

  14. Amy Hunter on July 2nd, 2014 5:17 am

    To Adam paper bags rip and treat and fall a part and its better to have heavy duty plastic bags so they don’t fall on part on customers. Amy Hunter

  15. Amy Hunter on July 2nd, 2014 5:21 am

    Paper bags rip and tear and fall a part better to have plastic bags.

  16. Amy Hunter on July 2nd, 2014 5:42 am

    Also metro should stay put not cancel in September 2014.

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