Seattle First US City to Ban Green and Brown Plastic Produce Bags

Connector Winter 2017

The Seattle City Council has unanimously approved a plan to ban green and brown plastic produce bags to eliminate composting confusion, according to

Seattle residents have been throwing non-biodegradable green and brown plastic bags in the compost for some time now, assuming that the colors meant the bags were biodegradable. This problem has resulted in gummed-up composting machinery, which has required expensive maintenance.

The new ruling will limit grocery stores to offering clear plastic produce bags, or green or brown compostable bags. The plan also makes the five-cent fee for paper bags permanent.

While banning plastic retail and grocery bags has been a common initiative from California to Michigan, produce bags are a significant part of the waste stream that has not yet been tackled in many areas. In fact, the delay in addressing these plastic bags is surprising considering the push to address produce waste in grocery stores. Seattle’s initiative has the potential to be emulated across the nation, which would further push regions toward reaching zero waste.

Source: Waste Dive