Thank you Edmonds residents and retailers for your continued efforts to reduce single-use plastic checkout bags! As most shoppers and businesses are now aware, Ordinance No. 3749 became effective on August 27, 2010, prohibiting the use of single-use plastic checkout bags at all retail establishments. This only applies to checkout bags; plastic bags for meats, vegetables, bulk food or prepared food gathered within a retail store, and plastic bags for prepared food from deli counters and restaurants can still be provided to customers.
When asked “paper or plastic?” at the checkout counter, the best answer is, “Neither. I brought my own!” Reusable bags are a much better option. Most are recyclable, lightweight, durable, and washable, and can carry three to four times the amount of weight than a single-use bag. Making a conscious effort to use reusable bags instead of single-use bags is ecologically and economically beneficial. Using reusable bags conserves energy and natural resources, reduces waste in landfills, diminishes litter, and promotes a cleaner environment.
In the summer of 2009, the Edmonds City Council adopted Ordinance No. 3749, which bans the use of single-use plastic checkout bags at all retail establishments. The ordinance required all retail establishments to comply with the requirements of the ordinance by the first anniversary, which was August 27, 2010. The ordinance promotes reusable bags as the best option for checkout bags and calls for an educational program to encourage the use of reusable bags. Thus, the Bring Your Own Bag campaign was born. It is intended to inform Edmonds retailers and residents about the benefits of using reusable checkout bags.
A "Bring Your Own Bag for a Better Environment" poster contest was held in 2010 for students in 7th through 12th grades. Click here to view the winning posters as well as all participating posters.
Most importantly, be a role model to others for using reusable bags. It may only seem like you’re saving a few bags here and there, but for every additional person who uses reusable bags, it all adds up to making a better environment.
Here are some simple steps you can take right now to help with the Bring Your Own Bag campaign.