Pass a Reusable Bag Initiative in Tacoma

Themes

Chapter: South Sound Washington
State: WA
Country: USA
Launch Date: May 01 2013
Completion Date: July 12 2016
Status: Victory

On Tuesday, July 12th, 2016 the Tacoma City Council held a vote and passed a bring your own bag ordinance. After almost four years of work, the South Sound chapter remained dedicated to seeing the policy through. Following three hours of testimony, debate, and a late substitute bill threatening to undo their work, the chapter and the city of Tacoma were victorious with an 8-1 vote in favor of the chapter supported legislation.

The council meeting where the vote was taken was filled with twist and turns. Ken Campbell, former South Sound Chapter Chair and Director of the Ikkatsu Project, recently wrote a summary of the evening that well depicts the closeness of the vote despite the final total being 8-1. When a substitute ordinance looking to not eliminate plastic bags but instead place a 5 cent fee on them was introduced it looked to have the votes despite a large majority of public speakers supporting the original ordinance. However, following a second wave of public comment the substitute was voted down 5-4 and the original prevailed by an 8-1 vote.On Tuesday, July 12th, 2016 the Tacoma City Council held a vote and passed a bring your own bag ordinance. After almost four years of work, the South Sound chapter remained dedicated to seeing the policy through. Following three hours of testimony, debate, and a late substitute bill threatening to undo their work, the chapter and the city of Tacoma were victorious with an 8-1 vote in favor of the chapter supported legislation. 

The chapter launched this campaign to protect their prized Commencement Bay and associated marine environment. Running the list of grassroots tasks to raise awareness and gain support, they not only worked toward a significant policy advancement, but also grew their numbers and stature in the community. Down the stretch the chapter did not let up, continually appearing and providing public comment at community forums, Tacoma City Council subcommittee meetings, and the two council meetings where the ordinance was discussed.