Sustainable Practices

The City of Bainbridge Island values awareness of the environment, efforts to preserve and conserve natural resources, and sustainability. One of the eight guiding principles of the Comprehensive Plan states the City’s intention to “Nurture Bainbridge Island as a sustainable community by meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”  In 2019, the City Council’s top priorities included development of a Climate Action Plan, Green Building Policies, a Groundwater Management Plan, and a Sustainable Transportation Plan.  All these projects have started, with work ongoing into 2020.

The City of Bainbridge Island has a history of leadership in sustainable practices including:

In January 2020, the charge for a retailer’s paper bags will increase from five cents to eight cents to be consistent with the charge in the rest of Kitsap Countyas authorized by Ordinance 2019-30. In 2012, Ordinance 2012-06, the city approved the Single Use Carry Out Bag Ordinance (commonly known as the "plastic bag ban").

  • Single-use plastic carry out bags are prohibited. This includes all plastic bags less than 2.25-milometers thick provided at check out or point of sale.
  • Customers (except those who document federal or state food assistance) must be charged eight cents per large paper bag. Retailers keep the revenue from the five-cent charge, which is taxable and must be shown on sales receipts.
  • Large paper bags requiring the eight-cent charge must be a minimum of 40% post-consumer, recycled fiber and the fiber content must be marked on the outside.
  • Smaller paper bags may be provided with or without charge at the store's discretion.
  • Thick plastic bags, 2.25-milometers or greater, are deemed reusable and may be provided with or without charge at the store's discretion.
  • Plastic bags used for restaurant take-out foods and meats and produce in grocery stores will still be allowed, because of the public health functions they provide.

In 2019, Resolution 2019-22, the city supported a ban on glyphosate products.

In 2019, Ordinance 2019-21, the city banned sale and use of consumer fireworks.

In 2019, Resolution 2019-14, the city endorsed the concept of the “Green New Deal”

In 2019, the City joined ICLEI, an international organization of local governments and national and regional local government organizations that have made a commitment to sustainable development.

In 2018, Resolution 2018-27, the city endorsed the State of Washington “Clean Air Clean Energy” initiative.

In 2017, Resolution 2017-20, the city expressed its commitment to the Paris Climate Accords.

In 2017, Ordinance 2017-13, the city established a Climate Change Advisory Committee

In 2017, Resolution 2017-04, the city expressed its support for carbon pricing policies

In 2016, Resolution 2016-11, the city acted to reduce use of neonicotinoid products on Bainbridge Island.

In 2014, Resolution 2014-01, the city approved participation in PSE’s Green Power Program.

In 2003, Ordinance 2003-15, the city ceased using pesticides.

In 1996, the city ceased using chemicals for vegetation control along roadways.

In 1991, the city ensured that recycling facilities were available, affordable, and convenient to all residents to encourage reduced waste.

In 1989, the city prohibited retail food establishments from using non-biodegradable packaging (Styrofoam).

Climate Change

The quality of the environment we live in is an important part of what people often think of in relationship to the City of Bainbridge Island. Several of the City’s eight guiding principles in the Comprehensive Plan refer to the environment, including Guiding Principle #7 – “Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the Island’s climate resilience.”

Recognizing the importance of addressing the issues surrounding the environment and climate change, the City has expressed its support through a number of ordinances, resolutions, and proclamations in recent years, as listed above.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory

In 2019, the City of Bainbridge Island (City) worked with Cascadia Consulting Group to complete a comprehensive greenhouse gas inventory (GHG) as part of the City’s commitment to understanding its emissions as one aspect of its response to climate change. Greenhouse gas emissions inventories quantify the amount of climate pollution produced by an entity.  As the City and Bainbridge Island community consider how to understand and reduce GHG emissions, this information will help track progress and inform decisions.

Summary information is included in a fact sheet.  The City also has a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory Report. The report includes three distinct inventories:

  • A community inventory that estimates GHG emissions produced by activities of the Bainbridge Island community, including residents and businesses.
  • A municipal inventory that accounts for the GHG emissions resulting from City of Bainbridge Island government operations.
  • A consumption-based inventory that estimates GHG emissions associated with the consumption of food, goods, and services within the community, regardless of their origin.

The report also presents findings from additional analyses.  These analyses provide additional context for understanding the complex topic of greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Municipal and communitywide contribution analyses that identify key drivers of observed emission trends. For example, analysis calculates the impact that a hotter summer or colder winter may have had on household energy use, and thus, emissions.
  • A carbon sequestration analysis that estimates the amount of carbon dioxide that Bainbridge Island trees absorb—or sequester—from the atmosphere on an annual basis.

Additional Information

For more information, read the FAQs.