2009 Sustainability Agenda
On July 28, 2009, the City Council of Edmonds, Washington, USA passed a law banning single use plastic bags by retailers. The law is actually part of a bigger plan.
Developed at the 2009 City Council Retreat, the Edmonds City Council had established the 2009 Sustainability Agenda. The Sustainability Agenda outlined specific goals that the Council committed to achieving during 2009. The Agenda contained Six Steps or goals. One of those steps was to consider a ban of single use of plastic bags.
At the Council's meeting on April 7, 2009, two staff members of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation conducted a presentation discussing issues associated with plastic debris in the ocean. The presentation was by Dr. Marcus Eriksen, Director of Education, Algalita Marine Research Foundation, and Anna Cummings, Education Advisor, Algalita Marine Research Foundation.
It was at that meeting that a proposed resolution was read, and the City Council declared its support, for a City ordinance banning the use of single-use plastic checkout bags and encouraging the use of reusable shopping bags. In the final vote on July 28,, the ordinance was passed by a vote of 4-2.
The effective date of the ordinance was August 27, 2009. However, the operative date is August 27, 2010, giving retailers one year to comply with the ordinance.