One wonders if the city and county commissions are making any effort to measure the effects of the plastic bag ban in Thurston County. It would be hard to do since they did not have any baseline data before the ban, but the questions are informative.
How much plastic has been removed from the waste stream? How many plastic bags have been removed? Has the population of plastic bags in the Sound been reduced? In lakes? On roadsides? How often is it required to clean the machines at the dump? How many workers discharged? How much more profit for waste company? What has been the effect on the profits of the merchants who now charge a minimum of 5 cents per bag? What has been the effect on illnesses associated with dirty re-usable bags? How much extra nitrogen and phosphorus has been polluting the water due to cleaning bags? How many fewer wildlife deaths proved to be associated with plastic bags? How many more trees have died to make the paper bags?
If you don’t measure it, you can’t claim any benefits. These might be useful questions to ask the present incumbents up for election.
Edwin J. Pole II