If today’s your day to restock the fridge, remember to bring your reusable bags when you head out to shop. As of today, single-use plastic bags are no longer permitted at retail stores such as grocery and drug stores. This follows an ordinance passed by the Seattle City Council in December, which bans the use of thin plastic bags.
To help people with limited incomes prepare for the ban, CoolMom recently hosted a tote bag drive for Wallingford’s FamilyWorks Food Bank. Thanks to generous community members (including many Wallyhood readers!), they collected more than 300 bags. Jake Weber, executive director at FamilyWorks, wrote in appreciation of one anonymous donor who hand-sewed 20 bags for the collection.
She MADE these GORGEOUS bags! Really, I mean they were lovingly sewn with beautiful fabrics. They are reversible and have pockets!
All of the tote bags, handmade and second-hand, will go to folks who will really appreciate them on rainy days when paper bags are not so handy!
If you are in need of reusable bags yourself, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and Safeway will be giving away 32,000 bags today only, at all 16 Seattle Safeway locations.
And, if you’re anything like me, you might want this information about what to do if you find a store that is not in compliance with the ordinance. According to the SPU website,
A call to SPU’s customer service line, (206) 684-3000, will forward store names to outreach staff who will visit the location. Note that small stores – those without branches outside Seattle where they can send their existing stock of bags – are allowed some time to use up inventory. Also, strong plastic bags (2.25 mils thick or greater) are considered reusable and some stores such as department stores and book stores will be using them. You may also call this number if you see a store not charging for large, recyclable paper bags. (No charge is required for small paper bags.)