OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington’s statewide plastic bag ban will come into effect on October 1. The ban prohibits the distribution of single-use plastic bags by restaurants, retailers, grocery stores and small vendors.
The ban was scheduled to begin in January 2021, but due to the shortage of compliant bags, Gov. Jay Inslee has delayed the ban with a proclamation that has now been rescinded.
Customers who choose to use a compliant plastic or paper bag offered by a merchant will be charged 8 cents. The 8-cent tax is required by law and is intended to encourage customers to bring their own reusable bags. Food banks, pantries, and people receiving food stamps, WICs, SNAPs, or other government assistance are exempt from the 8-cent fee.
The Department of Ecology advises people to invest in reusable bags for grocery shopping or restaurant food.
Laurie Davies, Ecology’s Solid Waste Management Program Manager, explains how reducing the use of single-use plastic bags will not only protect Washington’s streams and rivers, but also help the recycling system work. effectively.
“Single-use plastic bags are not easily recyclable, which makes their management at the end of their life almost impossible.
The state legislature has worked for years to reduce the use of this type of plastic bag in Washington. The ecology department is implementing new laws in 2021 by increasing the recycled content in bottles and bags.
For business owners and traders, Washington ecology has developed an awareness toolkit that includes customizable material for restaurants and retailers. Flyers, Bring Your Own Bag signs and web graphics are available for download to be branded, printed and shared by local businesses.
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