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The City Council on Wednesday will take its first look at a proposed ordinance that would ban retailers from giving customers single-use, carry-out plastic bags.
The proposed measure also would require retailers — after six months when the law would take effect — to charge 10 cents for recycled paper bags. The charge would go up to 25 cents after a year.
The report says the crackdown on non-reusable bags would “reduce the amount of litter generated by the use of plastic bags” and keep the city’s land and waterways cleaner.
In addition to loss of convenience and cleanliness there are reports about the increase of theft by users of reusable shopping bags –
“I think we’ve gotten to a place where it’s really going to work for the environment, businesses and the community in general,” Councilman Mike O’Brien said at the time.
But the bag ban is contributing to thousands of dollars in losses for at least one Seattle grocery store, and questions have been raised about the risk of food-borne illness from reusable bags that shoppers don’t often wash.
Mike Duke, who operates the Lake City Grocery Outlet with his wife, said that since the plastic-bag ban started last July, he’s lost at least $5,000 in produce and between $3,000 and $4,000 in frozen food.