Sustainable Practices


NEW SURVEY for owners of lodging establishments on Bainbridge Island!
Are you the owner of a business that provides lodging on Bainbridge (hotel, motel, resort, bed and breakfast inn, or vacation rental (including Airbnb)? Please take a survey to give your feedback to the City as we consider joining other cities and states who have adopted legislation to eliminate the practice of providing single use toiletries in plastic bottles to lodging guests. 

NEW SURVEY for owners of businesses that sell or provide prepared food on Bainbridge Island!

Are you the owner of a business that sells or provides prepared food for consumer consumption? Take a survey to help the City get ready to be a community that uses reusable service ware for on-site dining and compostable disposable service ware for take-out dining. 

Current Topic of Interest: Waste Reduction Ordinance

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The Bainbridge Island City Council has set a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on Bainbridge Island by 90% during the next 25 years. As an initial step toward that goal, the Council passed Ordinance 2021-18 that only allows single-use food service products to be provided when a customer asks or confirms they would like to use them. 

Single-use food service products include:

  • Utensils
  • Straws/stirrers
  • Condiments in packaging
  • Beverage cups and/or lids
    1.  Beverage cup lids for hot beverages or beverages for delivery, drive-thru, or curbside pickup will still be allowed without customer request)

The new regulations, which take effect January 1, 2022, will include the following changes for retail establishments:

       Dine in

  • Single-use food service items are still available for customers who ask for them or respond “yes” to a business offering them
  • Businesses can’t leave out bins with single-use food service items for customers to take on their own.

       Take out

  • Single-use food service items are still available for customers who ask for them or respond “yes” to a business offering them. 
  • Single-use food service items can’t automatically be placed in to-go orders but are available for customers who ask for them or respond “yes” to a business offering them.

The single-use food service items regulations adopted by the City Council amended Chapter 8.24 (Use of Nonbiodegradable Packaging Materials) of the Municipal Code. 

To further support the efforts toward waste reduction and commitment to working with the business community, the City Council has established a Plastic and Waste Reduction Task Force consisting of Council members Joe Deets, Kirsten Hytopoulos and Leslie Schneider. The task force will also include people representing the business community and those with expertise in plastic and waste reduction.  The group will present recommendations to the full Council in the fall of 2021 with additional steps to reduce plastic and waste in retail food establishments on Bainbridge Island.

If you have questions about the new regulations, please send an email to

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CCAC Hosts Climate Action Plan Community Events
To support the City and the community in the implementation of the Climate Action Plan (CAP), the Climate Change Advisory Committee (CCAC) hosted two live online events on Zoom. The CCAC gave presentations on the plan, answered questions on the CAP and discussed next steps.

Video from the January 13 event is posted here.
Video from the January 23 event is posted here.

City Council Approves BI Climate Action Plan
On November 10th, the Bainbridge Island City Council approved the first-ever Bainbridge Island Climate Action Plan (CAP) - video.  This plan is a culmination of a three-year effort by the Climate Change Advisory Committee (CCAC) working with City staff, community stakeholders and the public. 

The CAP has three overarching goals:

Mitigation: Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 90% by 2045 compared to 2014 levels with interim milestones of 25% reduction by 2025 and 60% by 2035 compared to 2014 levels.

Adaptation: Bainbridge Island is climate savvy, and can withstand the impacts of climate change.

 Community Engagement: COBI inspires community action and partners with local and regional organizations to take meaningful and equitable climate change mitigation and adaptation actions. 

The CAP contains over 170 actions and includes 18 immediate actions the CCAC believes are important to initiate over the next 12 months to help kick start implementation of the CAP. 

Examples of the 18 immediate actions are to: 1) develop a “climate lens” that can be used by the City when making decisions; 2) hire a Climate Mitigation and Adaptation Officer to help in the implementation of the CAP; 3) develop a Clean Energy and Building Fund to provide resources to residents and businesses to make their homes and businesses more energy efficient; 4) develop a plan to transition the City fleet to all electric vehicles; and 5) develop an ordinance to ban single-use plastics. 

The City and CCAC are planning two Community Meetings on Wednesday January 13th from 5:30 – 7:00 pm and Saturday January 23rd from 10:00 – 11:30 am.  The purpose of the meetings is to roll out the actions in the CAP and to answer questions community members have about the CAP. 

City Actions Related to Sustainability

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

In June, 2020, Resolution No. 2020-05, declared the existence of a Climate Emergency, reaffirmed the City’s commitment to Climate Action.

In January 2020, the charge for a retailer’s paper bags increased from five cents to eight cents to be consistent with the charge in the rest of Kitsap County as 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 community wide 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.