Environment
9:38 am
Tue July 12, 2011

Bellingham bans disposable plastic bags

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – The Bellingham City Council has approved a ban on single-use plastic bags in an effort to cut down on litter and pollution.

The ordinance approved Monday also requires retailers to charge customers 5 cents for each disposable paper bag issued, revenue which goes to retailers.

The Bellingham Herald reports the ban takes effect one year after it becomes law, giving retailers time to adjust.

Advocates pushing the measure say the single-use plastic bags doesn't break down and often ends up in the ocean where they can harm marine mammals that ingest them. Members of the plastic bag industry say discarded shopping bags are a tiny part of the litter problems and that consumers should have choices.