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.