Plastic bag ban takes effect this week – Methow Valley News
Buyers will need to bring their own bags – or pay extra for a sturdy, reusable bag – starting this Friday (October 1).
The state ban on plastic bags prohibits the use of most single-use plastic bags, although bags for bulk items such as fruits and vegetables, nuts and grains, candy and small hardware items are permitted.
Reusable bags will cost an additional 8 cents, but they will last a long time – they must hold up to 125 uses and be able to carry at least 22 pounds.
The 8 cent charge is not a tax – it is a sale held by the merchant to entice customers to bring their own bags. It also helps stores recoup the costs of more durable bags. Food banks and people receiving food stamps and other government assistance are exempt from the 8-cent levy.
Although the ban takes effect immediately, retail establishments are permitted to use their existing inventory of bags, and there will be no charge for these bags.
The ban aims to reduce waste; protect human health, wildlife and the environment; and reduce harmful chemicals released during the manufacture, use or incineration of bags.
Enforcement of the ban will be managed by the state’s Ecology Department and will be based on complaints. Violators will be liable to a fine of $ 250. Ecology will also carry out education and awareness activities.