Washington state’s plastic bag ban is now in effect


Say goodbye to those flimsy plastic bags.

Washington state’s new ban on single-use plastic bags went into effect on Friday, October 1. The new law in most cases prohibits catering businesses, restaurants, retailers, small temporary vendors and grocery stores from providing take-out bags to customers. , according to a press release from the Washington State Department of Ecology.

Companies can still provide customers with compliant paper or a reusable bag at a cost of 8 cents. These funds go straight back into the pockets of companies to recoup the cost of providing more durable and reusable bagging options.

“Certain types of single-use plastic bags are exempt from the law, including plastic films used to wrap meats and products, small film bags for prescriptions, newspaper and dry cleaning bags and bags. packaged items sold in stores such as garbage bags, pet waste. bags and sandwich bags, ”the press release read.

Food banks and community pantries are also not required to charge customers for compliant bags under the new law, according to Ecology. People using food stamps, WIC (women, infants, children), SNAP (Supplementary Nutritional Assistance Program) or any other government funded nutritional assistance program are also not subject to the 8 cent fee.

Plastic bags are a source of pollution that threatens human health, wildlife, and the environment, and they continue to be a major contamination problem in Washington State’s recycling system. Ecology says reducing the use of single-use plastic bags will protect the state’s rivers and streams, help the state’s recycling systems run more efficiently, and contribute to a growing culture of waste reduction.

Customers are encouraged to keep their reusable bags clean and in good condition for use by merchants.

“Businesses affected by this law are required to allow customers to use their own bags. … If a merchant doesn’t want their employees to handle customers’ reusable bags, they can implement a policy requiring them to wrap their own purchases when customers bring theirs, ”said Laurie Davis, program manager for the management of customer’s. solid waste from Ecology, in a press release.

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