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Eye On Olympia

Plastic-bag tax: an Eastern Washington community considers following Seattle’s lead…

Staff writer Carley Dryden has a story today about the Whitman County city of Pullman possibly following in Seattle’s footsteps and instituting a 20-cents-each tax on plastic shopping bags.

Washington State University professor Elizabeth Siler’s promoting the idea, after counting 55 plastic bags littering a stretch of Highway 195 last year.

“A plastic bag we get today at a grocery store in Pullman that accidentally blows out of the car window will be here longer than any of us,” she said. “I am going to biodegrade in 100 years or less. But that bag out my window will be there another 1,000 years, breaking down, choking animals, creating environmental havoc.”

City Supervisor John Sherman sounded lukewarm on the idea, which Siler hopes to bring to the city council shortly after WSU goes back in session in a few weeks.

“Right now, with the high cost of food, we are very concerned about adding additional costs to people,” Sherman said. He said there’s a chance the measure will fail for that reason.

“I think it will be very controversial,” he said.

Click here to read Dryden’s full story.

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Richard Roesler covers Washington state news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Olympia.

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