As of January 1, 2023, the city of Bainbridge Island has implemented a series of regulations aimed at reducing the use of single-use plastic items and disposable cups at businesses, according to the Kitsap Sun.
These regulations, which were approved by the City Council in 2021, include the following:
- A ban on disposable plastic food service ware and a requirement that disposable food service ware be compostable at home.
- A requirement that businesses use reusable food service ware for on-site dining.
- A ban on the use of polystyrene-based food service ware for prepared food.
- A 25-cent fee on disposable cups to encourage the use of reusable cups.
- A ban on hotels and lodging establishments providing personal care products that are not packaged in home compostable packaging in an effort to encourage the use of refillable product dispensers.
All food establishments on Bainbridge Island must now charge a 25-cent fee for disposable cups. This fee is kept by the business to cover some of the expenses of offering a home compostable disposable cup, as stated by the city. The city has allowed a three-month grace period until the end of March for businesses to use their current supplies of non-home compostable food and beverage packaging for take-out orders. There is also a list of temporary exemptions for certain products and businesses from these rules.
The new waste reduction regulations have been proposed with the aim of decreasing waste in the environment, improving public health, and decreasing reliance on plastic. These goals align with the objectives outlined in the City’s 2020 Climate Action Plan. However, it is yet to be determined whether these regulations will effectively achieve these goals.