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During the 2020 legislative session, the Legislature pass a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. It was originally intended to begin in January 2021. However, due to compliant bag supply shortages caused by COVID-19, Governor Jay Inslee issued Proclamation 2082 to delay the ban. On July 13th, 2021 Governor Jay Inslee rescinded the proclamation and set the single-use plastic bag ban to expire on Thursday September 30th, 2021.
This means that beginning Friday, October 1st, 2021 business will begin charging an 8-cent fee per reusable bag. Single-use plastic bags will be prohibited in all retail and grocery stores, restaurants, takeout establishments, festivals, and markets.
The 8-cent fee may not be collected from anyone using a voucher or electronic benefits card issued under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Women, Infants and Children (WIC), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or Food Assistance Program (FAP).
This ban does not apply to food banks and food assistance programs, however, those programs are encouraged to take actions to reduce the use of single-use plastic carryout bags.
If individuals have any questions or comments they are to contact Shannon Jones (contact information below) as well as the Frequently Asked Questions section on the link below. Additionally, the Department of Ecology has set up a reporting form for individuals to submit an observation of businesses not in compliance with the new requirements. The form can be found on the following link: https://ecology.wa.gov/Waste-Toxics/Reducing-recycling-waste/Waste-reduction-programs/Plastics/Plastic-bag-ban