End Plastic Bag Recycling In King County, Task Force Says

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BELLEVUE, WA – Consider this is another nail in the coffin for plastic bags. A King County task force has recommended that the county and local cities end curbside plastic bag recycling.

The Responsible Recycling Task Force’s recommendation is just that – nothing is set to change right now. But it’s bad news for plastic bags, because it might be easier to just ban them than expend the effort recycling.

“People in our region value recycling because we understand that it is an investment in a sustainable future,” King County Solid Waste Division Director Pat McLaughlin said in a statement. “While the Task Force’s recommendations could mean changes in the way we recycle, these are the steps that we need to take to conserve valuable resources, minimize the impacts from global warming, and secure that sustainable future.”

According to King County, plastic bags (along with film and plastic wrap) often clog recycling machines. Meanwhile, China, once the word’s largest plastic recylcers, stopped accepting plastics in January 2018.

There is a bill in the state Legislature that would ban plastic bags statewide. King County is also encouraging consumers to use the Wrap Recycling Action Program, where large retailers like Fred Meyer and Safeway collect used plastic bags (find the nearest location to you here).

There are 19 cities, including Seattle and Edmonds, that already have plastic bag bans, so do states like California and Hawaii.

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