The ordinance would prohibit all retail establishments in the city from providing single-use plastic carryout bags and would require stores that provide paper bags to charge five cents per bag.
“The proposed bag reduction ordinance is a positive step in reducing waste,” Stephen Trinkaus, owner of Terra Organica, said in a press release.
Trinkaus is confident that customers will welcome the new policy.
“We already have a large percentage of customers who bring in their own bags,” he said in the release.
Trinkaus plans to start the program once the store uses up its existing inventory of plastic bags, which could take four to six weeks. The store will continue to offer plastic bags for produce and bulk food purchases, which are still allowed under the proposed ordinance.
Jill MacIntyre Witt, a Bag It Bellingham organizer, said she hopes other stores in the area will also choose to stop offering plastic carryout bags. She also hopes that the city of Bellingham will follow the footsteps of the city of Edmonds, which passed a single-use bag ordinance in 2009.
“We would like to see legislation passed at the state level, which is more likely once several cities in Washington pass local ordinances,” MacIntyre Witt said in a press release. “Bellingham, a city that takes pride in its sustainability efforts, ought to be next.”