After 15-month delay, Washington plastic bag ban takes effect Oct. 1

Sep 27, 2021, 12:13 PM | Updated: Oct 1, 2021, 5:35 am
Plastic bag ban...
A statewide plastic bag ban takes effect on Friday, Oct. 1. (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Washington state’s plastic bag ban is set to take effect on Friday, Oct. 1, after a lengthy 15-month delay.

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SB 5323 was passed by the state Legislature in March of 2020, establishing a statewide prohibition on the issuance of single-use plastic bags from retailers, restaurants, grocery stores, festivals, and markets, but excepting food banks and other food assistance programs. It also mandates an 8-cent charge for paper bags, while setting requirements for the materials reusable bags can be made from.

Gov. Jay Inslee signed it into law later that month, originally slating it to take effect on June 11, 2020.

Because of supply chain issues brought on by the pandemic, though, Inslee issued a proclamation delaying the bill’s implementation. The governor rescinded that proclamation in July 2021, officially setting the Oct. 1 implementation date in stone.

Environmental advocates have been pushing for a statewide ban on plastic bags for years now, citing the need to reduce marine pollution, litter, and waste, as well as contamination in comingled recycling and compost systems.

In enacting the ban, the goal from state lawmakers was also to provide more consistent guidelines, given that several cities either have bans of their own, or require an additional charge for plastic bags. That includes Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, Bremerton, Port Orchard, and Snohomish, among others.

You can learn more about Washington’s single-use plastic bag ban here.

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After 15-month delay, Washington plastic bag ban takes effect Oct. 1