Blowin’ in the Wind

A Wild Hair

January 21, 2019 Comments (0) journal


The new Washington State bill that would bring an end to single-use shopping bags state-wide is getting its first hearing today. I’m headed down to Olympia with Gus Gates, from Surfrider, to the House Environment and Energy Committee meeting, where HB 1205 will be brought up for initial debate. (The Senate bill, SB 5323, gets to committee on Thursday.)

The grocers are for it. The timber companies are opposed. Special interests have assembled in their corners. As is invariably the case, if it’s good for the environment, the fossil fuels industry is firmly against it. It’s almost kabuki now, where each player proceeds to their mark on the stage and recites the lines that have been etched onto their characters, defining themselves by what they are opposed to, rather than through any vision of a shared future.

With all that, the fact that it is coming up at this level is beyond noteworthy. California is the only state that has enacted this sort of legislation to this point (Hawaii has a de facto ban due to county-level initiatives that all four Hawaiian counties have put in place), and for Washington to make this move is commendable. A good start.

There is still a long way to go.