Tacoma is the latest city to pass ban on plastic bags

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TACOMA, Wash. -- Tacoma is the latest city in the state to adopt a plastic bag ban.

In an 8-1 vote Tuesday night, the Tacoma City Council approved the  “Bring Your Own Bag” ordinance. It prohibits retailers from using plastic bags. Instead, shoppers will get a recyclable paper bag with a minimum 5-cent fee that will go back to the retailer.

City council added an amendment to the ordinance, which includes asking retailers for voluntary information to try and track how many paper bags are being used.

This is an effort to reduce plastic waste and supporters say it was a long time coming.

“It’s been a long road, many years of researching it, debating, talking to the public,” said Kristin Lynett with the Tacoma Sustainability Office.

The ordinance is expected to go into effect in 12 months.

Coincidentally, the City of Seattle Public Utilities released some new numbers on its plastic bag ban, which went into effect in 2011.

Between 2010-2014, the amount of plastic bags in residential garbage declined from 262 tons to 136 tons, which is a nearly 50 percent decrease.

As for compliance, the city found that 40 percent of convenience stores are non-compliant and 50 percent of grocery stores are still non-compliant.