Washington’s plastic bag ban goes into effect tomorrow

SPOKANE, Wash. — Before your next shopping trip, you may want to go ahead and stock up on reusable bags.

The ban on single-use plastic bags is meant to encourage the use of reusable ones and limit plastic bags that are difficult to dispose of properly.

Here’s what you can expect from Washington’s ban starting Friday: A recyclable paper or plastic bag will cost you eight cents.

This applies to grocery stores, restaurants, retail stores and small vendors and a business could charge you more at their discretion.

Businesses will keep the money and the charge will show up on your receipt on two separate lines.

It’s also important to note that the ban doesn’t take away bags for things like produce or prescriptions.

According to Washington’s Department of Ecology, Washingtonians use two billion plastic bags a year.

The plastic bag ban is expected to reduce contamination in recycling and compost systems across the state, promote reuse and recycled content, build consistency in policy and enforcement across the state and support the recycled paper industry.

Still need help understanding the ban? To help with this statewide transition, the Department of Ecology collaborated with local governments, retailers, business associations and non-profits to create outreach materials.

This is for businesses and the public to better understand the ban and properly implement it.

See more information on the ban and the outreach toolkit here.

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