When a law like the plastic bag ban only applies to a few groups, the mandate for equal protection under the law is violated.
The fact that the city council allows some uses of plastic bags while prohibiting others has no basis in science, and certainly will not solve any purported problem. Plastic bags are allowed for some uses and people because the council magically "agrees" that their need is "valid," while the needs for others are deemed irrelevant and illegal. Now they are giving "small businesses" a break on the bag ban for no other reason than the council has small business owners that want to exempt themselves from their own misguided rules that violate the rights of others.
Plastic bags are not illegal, and therefore controlling their use to only a select set of parties is invalid. Either they are banned or not, not banned just for a targeted group of citizens.
The Kirkland Reporter can deliver a newspaper in a plastic bag, thrown on my sidewalk, without my even subscribing to the paper. Yet they could easily deliver it to a newspaper box that would be truly reused and would limit deliveries to only those who want it. Even if it's not raining they use plastic bags. Since they don't seal the bag, if it's raining, the paper will often get wet anyway. If I buy a newspaper at the grocery store or mini-mart, putting in a plastic bag is illegal?
Is there any science to back up the assertion that people shopping at small businesses are more "ad hoc" than buying from a grocery store or mini mart?
If I buy sushi at a restaurant for take out, it will come in a legal plastic bag. If I buy sushi at the grocery store, that same plastic bag is illegal. Absurd, no?
This is clearly an invalid law that needs to be repealed, or updated so that all plastic bags are banned. Banning legal products to only a subset of taxpayers is corruption. It violates equal protection under the law.