Thurston County Seeks Solutions to Single-Use Plastic Bags

Residents in Thurston County use an estimated 90 million plastic shopping bags per year. On average, each bag is used for only 12 minutes. Besides the energy and resources used to make bags, they can affect our environment and create a financial burden on local government when we are done using them.

Thurston County Solid Waste has been busy this summer working with the community to discuss issues related to plastic bag use. They are seeking input from residents, businesses, and non-profits on how we can reduce our use.  They encourage residents to get involved through the below activities:

Check out the webpage set up by Thurston County Solid Waste, full of information and studies, at  There, the public can sign up for periodic emails about the project and planned activities.

At the website, you can also take the Plastic Bag Survey – over 1,700 residents have completed it. We have been surveying at stores and special events as well  – participants get a free reusable bag. 

Eight community meetings have been scheduled for mid-August to mid-September. These are all listed on the web site as well. Thurston County Solid Waste hopes you will join them for these important discussions.

If you are a member of a community group, you may want to know that Solid Waste staff is available for presentations on the topic of plastic bags.  They also have several copies of the entertaining documentary “Bag It” if you would like to coordinate a viewing for your church, neighborhood, or community group. To view a trailer for the film, just go to their website You can also rent the movie for home use on services such as Amazon or Netflix. For more information, please contact Loni Hanka at or (360) 867-2282.

The Thurston County Solid Waste Advisory Council meets the 2nd Thursday of each month from 11:30-1 at Thurston County Public Works, 9605 Tilley Road SW, Olympia, WA 98512. The public is always invited to attend and share their comments. Mark Daniels of the American Progressive Bag Alliance (the Plastics Industry) has been invited to do a presentation at the next meeting on August 9. 

Community input is critical as the folks from Solid Waste work to identify possible solutions to the growing problem of single-use shopping bags. Visit their webpage and send them an email from there, or give them a call and share your thoughts.

For more information, contact:
Terri Thomas
Education & Outreach Specialist III
Thurston County Solid Waste
9605 Tilley Road SW
Olympia, WA 98512-9140
Phone: 360-867-2279
Fax: 360-867-2295

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