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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, May 9, 2013
Terri Thomas, Education & Outreach Specialist, Solid Waste Division at (360) 867-2297

Stakeholders Group Needed on Plastic Bag Use in Thurston County

Thurston County is seeking residents and businesses for a stakeholders group that will draft language for a plastic bag reduction ordinance. The deadline for signing up for the stakeholders group is Monday, June 10.

Over the past year and a half, Thurston County Solid Waste staff worked with the community to explore ways to reduce the estimated 90 million plastic shopping bags we use annually. This work was requested by the Thurston County Solid Waste Advisory Committee (SWAC), which is made up of city, citizen, and industry representatives.

Staff provided the final report, titled "Reducing Our Use: Plastic Shopping Bags," to the SWAC last September. The group approved the report and recommended that Thurston County, along with the cities and towns within the county, adopt a plastic bag ban. Seven cities in Washington have already taken such action.

Solid Waste staff presented the report to each city and town council and obtained their recommendations. The Thurston County Board of Commissioners reviewed the information and directed staff to form the stakeholders group to develop the ordinance language. Once completed, it will be provided to each jurisdiction in Thurston County for their consideration and possible adoption. The goal is to have a consistent approach to reducing plastic bag use across the county instead of a patchwork of varying regulations. Each jurisdiction would need to go through their individual ordinance adoption process, which would include a public hearing.

To sign up for the stakeholders group, visit www.ThurstonSolidWaste.org/plastics. The web page also includes links to the full report, the 2012 survey results, and information about the impact plastic has on our environment, and how to sign up for email updates on this and other projects.

For more information, contact Terri Thomas, Education & Outreach Specialist for the county's Solid Waste Division, at (360) 867-2279 or ThomasTe@co.thurston.wa.us.



County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3