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LFP Plastic Bag Ban Up For Discussion At Tonight's Council Meeting

Environmental Quality Commission recommends city ban single-use plastic bags by retailers; medical marijuana and animal services contract also on tonight's LFP Council agenda

The Lake Forest Park City Council plans to discuss a single-use plastic bag ban as recommended by the Environmental Quality Commission at a Council work session Monday night at 6:30 p.m.

The EQC has studied the issue for a year-and-a-half and recommends the ban based on its discussions and research. The EQC hopes the Council will act by the end of the year. Affected retail busineses, including grocery stores, department stores, hardware stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, liquor stores and restaurants, would likely be given at least six months to prepare for the change in the law.

The city ordinance declares plastic bags, "nonrenewable resources," and states that, "plastic never biodegrades, it photo degrades and can take hundreds of years for plastic bags to breakdown and when they do it is tiny toxic bits which seep into the soil, waterways, lakes and bay."

The EQC estimates that a "conservative estimate" is that LFP residents use about 2.5 million plastic bags a year or about 200 bags per person.

The city's draft ordinance is patterned after the plastic bag ban ordinances in Edmonds and Bellingham. 

The recommendation is that people use reusable cloth bags for groceries and other goods. Paper bags would not be banned but discouraged. A five cents fee would be charged for using paper bags by retailers. Edmonds does not ban or charge a fee for paper bags.

Edmonds estimated that the adoption and implementation of its ban required 110 hours of staff time and city attorney review, as well as $1,000 for supplies and mailings.

Also Monday night, the Council will discuss what to do next about medical marijuana after moratorium passed earlier this year is due to expire soon.

The Council plans to discuss what to do about animal control services. The city's contract with King County is due to expire at the end of the year. The city of Auburn is pulling out of the contract then, and that leaves 26 other cities with significantly higher costs if they continue.

one opinion August 03, 2012 at 03:17 AM
My problem with plastic bags has always been that they're inconvenient to recycle-if I'm like most: one tends to collect a bunch of them, one has to remember they have a bunch, then bring them in to a specified store and be self-conscious while they find the obscure place most stores have the receptacle in (shows me their commitment) and stuff them in there. By comparison, the old "model," i.e. paper bags, can be put in one's recycle container, extremely convenient. Bob's comments are well taken re: the cleanliness of reusable bags...if anything, the stores should be required to have something to sterilize the bags, if there is such a thing. I didn't see anything wrong with the old model, if anything charge for the plastic bags, or find a way for them to be recycled with everything else. It reminds me of allowing airline passengers to take on carry-on bags free, which most airlines still do, which slows loading, while charging for checked bags, which generally does not.
Julie Houff August 03, 2012 at 04:38 AM
One opinion: I own quite a few reusable bags and use each bag no more than once a week. After one's been used just a few times or is otherwise likely needing cleaning, I toss it in with a laundry load. I have heavy duty bags that withstand a lot of use and washings. Some I've had 20 years or more. Do make sure to store your bags in a clean/(low germ) environment. I find dealing with plastic is more time consuming and annoying than dealing with reusables- but then I've been doing the new way longer than most folks.
Tony Dondero (Editor) August 03, 2012 at 06:56 AM
Hi everyone, As a heads up Patch will have a booth at Celebrate Shoreline on Aug. 18. And we will be handing out, among other things, reusable cloth bags with the Patch logo on them. So stop by and visit while supplies last. The cloth bags were our most popular item at the Shoreline Solar Fest. Of course, what you use them for is entirely up to you. ---Tony
Janet Way August 03, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Dear FK and All, who would like to see the Shoreline City Council BAN Plastic Carry out Bags, If you truly want to see this happen, NOW is the time to let the Council know. There is currently some strong support on the Council to do this, but there are also some who are "on the fence", and some who've already stated their opposition. Currently, there are several organizations collecting signatures for the Ban. There are at least 1000 signatures for the Ban and maybe more. But letters directly to the council is the most effective way to get this done. I urge everyone who wants this to happen, to get Shoreline aligned with neighboring cities, and a half dozens other cities in our state and many others nation wide, to let the Council know NOW. More updates to come! Thanks, Janet Way Shoreline Preservation Society
Janet Way August 03, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Thanks Gerald for this confirmation of how effective this Seattle Ban is. It is very clear from watching folks behavior at the Seattle stores and markets, that they've moved on, and it is no big deal! And just think about the thousands of bags everyday that are NOT being shipped to Oregon, China or into the Sound? What's not to like? And the stores are definitely liking not paying for millions of plastic bags and giving them away for free. This is obviously a good public policy which should be confirmed in Shoreline and Lake Forest Park. Let's get with it, the time has come to drop the plastic carry-out bag habit!!
Janet Way August 03, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Talk about "screaming" Bob? It is pretty clear who is getting hysterical here. It's you Bob that can't accept reality. Stop impuning the sanity of those who sincerely want to protect the environment! It's clear that dinosaurs like you, have lost the argument!
Tu-Ha Nguyen August 04, 2012 at 09:28 AM
@ Gerard Fender: Tony writing "Patch" on plastic bags with a sharpie??? You are teasing right? I don't think Tony will have time to write on plastic bags.
Bob MacDonald August 04, 2012 at 02:34 PM
These 'reusable' bags (as if plastic bags aren't reusable) need to be used a lot before they are at the break even point with plastic bags, environmentally speaking. A report in the UK claims that they must be used 171 times to offset their higher emissions than plastic, but the average consumer only uses their bags 51 times before throwing them away. Someone who has "quite a few" reusable bags and only uses one a week would have to use that bag for over 3 years before that nasty, filthy, germy bag is at the *break even* point with plastic bags. First, that bag is going to be really gross. Second, how many people are going to do that? Not many, no matter what they *claim*. Here is the article...I like to support my arguments :) http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/green-living/plastic-fantastic-carrier-bags-not-ecovillains-after-all-2220129.html
Julie Houff August 04, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Thanks for the humor up there! The end of ^ that article says: " All bags have an impact. The best solution would be to use a cotton bag several hundred times, probably using it constantly for years." I pass this test, and so can you all. My sturdy cotton bags have lasted me decades. More than a few hundred times. And, you all already know they are clean.
Julie Houff August 04, 2012 at 08:56 PM
So far I've not lost any cotton or other non plastic reusable bags such as I have the super lightweight t shirt style plastic ones which easily get taken away by wind and get carried away to who knows where, just like at the recycling centers where bags end up in various places they shouldn't including Puget Sound. I'm still not convinced that recycling plastic bags is helping this situation. Only evidence I've seen/heard was that there has been either no improvement or the problem is worsening. Any good reliable current articles out there about that?
Bob MacDonald August 05, 2012 at 12:26 AM
And I'm sure you are honest and mean everything you say, Julie. Just like you said "Yes, my last reply to Bob" two comments ago. Actually, you said that over a month ago and you are still following me around trolling everything I say. I'm sure you have just as much self control with your dirty bags as you do with your responses to me on Patch.
Bob MacDonald August 05, 2012 at 06:03 AM
Well, actually...we do exactly that. Look around you. What does your Subway come in? A plastic bag and paper wrapper. Same with fruits and vegetables at the store. When you go to the local high school to watch a football game, are you served food on ceramic plates? Which only illustrates the point that there is a lot of this going on that people don't see, and that this bag ban is so small and insignificant as to mean nothing. It is a feel-good law at best...this is legislation designed to look nice on a politician's resume.
Julie Houff August 05, 2012 at 06:09 AM
Sorry, Bob, I have a right to change my mind, especially when you use my quotes in your comments. I would appreciate you not calling non plastic bags filthy or gross and such. You've been called out on that before. Can we move on from that? If we stick to the topic rather that opinions and insults, we may get further, faster with this discussion. This extra stuff takes up too much space.
Julie Houff August 05, 2012 at 06:21 AM
Bob's last comments have already been addressed up there a ways. Bob, can we move on to new territory with this topic. And, it looks like, Bob may have missed Gerard's point.
Bob MacDonald August 05, 2012 at 01:29 PM
You sure are a bossy troll, Julie.
Bob MacDonald August 05, 2012 at 03:10 PM
I'm in favor of banning styrofoam containers, too, and we have. I use biodegradable, recyclable paper 3 section food containers. I use them because the law banning styrofoam was sensible enough to allow environmentally responsible alternatives. And that illustrates another major problem with the bag ban. It bans *ALL* bags...even biodegradable and recyclable plastic bags. The law doesn't leave room for a better alternative because the law is very poorly thought-out and written. Contrary to Julie's trolling, no one is claiming we need more plastic in the environment. But there are reasonable and intelligent ways to go about it, and this isn't it. This ham-handed law will do nothing to decrease the amount of plastic bags in the environment, as San Francisco found out with their ban. But the real problem...one of them, anyways...is that this law doesn't encourage or allow a better solution. It is the worst kind of law to enact...this is a last resort type of law employed first by those who think the only solutions in life lie with the government.
Janet Way August 05, 2012 at 05:31 PM
I don't know if anyone besides the four of us are still following this thread, but I think we get your point Bob. You are hopelessly wed to your plastic carryout bags. A dinosaur. The rest of us are moving on, just as the Seattlites and Edmonds residents have. Have fun with extinction! And please stop you abusive language toward Julie, who has been polite in every response. It's obvious that you are very defensive and and unable to deal with reasonable women who argue with the facts. Move on!
Bob MacDonald August 05, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Apparently you don't get the point at all, Janet. Like Julie, you want to employ an "us vs them" strategy where anyone who disagrees with you does so because their motives are questionable. I'm not wed to plastic bags any more than you are in favor of dirty food. Well, who knows...maybe you ARE in favor of dirty food. I don't treat Julie this way because she is a woman. Another nice try at demonizing me, Janet. I've been clear that I think Julie is an internet troll here to do nothing more than elicit a response. The dishonesty from people like you and Julie is the reason I'm a little defensive. No matter how often I mention that I want to find a solution to the problem of plastic in the environment, you and Julie still deliberately and dishonestly mis-characterize my position. I can deal with reasonable women just find, Janet. Go find me one and I'll prove it ;)
Bob MacDonald August 05, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Erm, the plastic bags in question are made from natural gas, Gerard.
Julie Houff August 06, 2012 at 04:41 AM
I don't think any reasonable woman would be interested in meeting you in person, Bob. You kinda lost it up there when you chose to name call to a woman instead of responding to a question you chose not to answer. You can't scare me off the discussion. BTW, trolling has to do with disrupting on threads like this, and in my opinion you are doing a good job of disrupting this thread with over the top provocative language and tactics.
Julie Houff August 06, 2012 at 04:55 AM
Helpful article, Gerard! I love the way they describe the banning via small local areas to eventually get the big super meaningful statewide legislation. Yes, poke holes in the current system until you've perforated one giant hole in it. I'm totally on board with that.
Janet Way August 06, 2012 at 04:57 AM
OK Bob, let's hear your big solution! To me, when you're in a hole, it's time to stop digging. That's why banning the darned bags is the best course. Recycling has not made a dent. And by the way, your last comment was so laced with sexist and offensive trash, that you should be recycled! Calling people "dishonest", talking about "dirty food", and saying you've never met a reasonable woman, is a great indication of the hopelessness of your attitude.
Julie Houff August 06, 2012 at 04:59 AM
Ahem, Bob, you do realize that natural gas IS a fossil fuel, right? It's cleaner than coal or oil to burn, but reeks havoc on water supplies with extraction like fracking. BTW, our lovely state of Washington IS now being invaded by freaking FRACKING. Grays Harbor area has allowed for it. Where next? Next to your water supply? You won't hear real news like this on TV. So occupy news everywhere else. I learned this via "progressive" radio and got it confirmed with others more in the know than I with this issue.
Julie Houff August 06, 2012 at 05:03 AM
Thanks for calling the trashy talk out, Janet!
John Angisco August 07, 2012 at 08:26 PM
I have been reading this article from almost the beginning and from the way I see it Bob doesnt even know what hes talking about. All hes been doing is being a big bully to everyone. I really think Bob should get kicked off by the editor.
Tony Dondero (Editor) August 07, 2012 at 09:20 PM
I'm not going to ban Bob from the site. Even if you think Bob is wrong, he has a right to be wrong. It's called the First Amendment. If you think he is wrong, continue to post here, write the Shoreline and LFP Councils and support the proposed bag bans. Go to the Council meetings and speak out. However, I would remind and ask everyone including Bob to refrain from personal attack. Here's our terms of use; http://shoreline.patch.com/terms
John Angisco August 07, 2012 at 10:02 PM
I just think that if Bob wants to comment he should at least try to stay on topic instead of harrasing people.
Julie Houff August 07, 2012 at 11:47 PM
Well, on the positive side, having Bob on these types of threads, especially these critical environmental ones that he loves to partake in, is good practice in dealing with these types of folks in the future. Until there is no more need for better environment laws, and no one is interested in destroying our planet home for mainly profit reasons, and no more desire to enjoy wreaking havoc on the internet, I'm certain well see more of this and related types of behavior. Thanks a bunch for showing your concern, John. I, for one, certainly appreciate it.
John Angisco August 08, 2012 at 03:51 AM
Go get a life Bob and get off this Article your just wasting space. Or you can actually make some sense.
Bob MacDonald August 12, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Thank you, Tony. I appreciate your balance and plain decency. But it is just not worth my time and aggravation to deal with people like this. Janet and Julie just want to score silly political points. No one here really wants to talk about the facts. I post links and the messenger is attacked because the message is too tough for these lightweights to handle. Thank you for the forums, though :D

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