Sunday, October 17, 2021

Washington state’s ban on single-use plastic bags applies with fines of up to $250

The ban on single-use plastic bags aimed at encouraging customers to use their own reusable bags when shopping goes into effect throughout Washington state starting Friday.

The ban passed the state Senate back in March 2019 and was originally scheduled to begin on the first of this year, but was delayed due to supply chain issues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On July 13, Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee rescinded the proclamation and set the effective date of the single-use plastic bag ban for October 1, 2021.

The measure bans single-use plastic bags in all retail and grocery stores, restaurants, takeout establishments, festivals and markets except food banks and food assistance programs, although the latter is still considered single-use plastic carryout bags. are encouraged to reduce their use. where possible.

Instead, stores can order different types of bags, such as recycled material paper or wheat straw paper reusable plastic bags, which will charge the customer 8 percent for each bag.

Such bags must meet a minimum standard of 40 percent post-consumer recycled content, or 40 percent wheat straw, or a combination of the two materials equal to 40 percent, while thicker reusable plastic bags are at least 20 percent. Must be made from after consumer. Recycled material, be at least 2.25 mil thick, and be labeled with these specifications as well as the word “reusable” on the bag.

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Exceptions are consumer bulk items, produce, frozen food, meat, flowers and potted plants, prepared food or bakery items, and prescription drugs.

Newspaper bags, envelopes, door hangers, dry-cleaning bags and bags sold in food storage, garbage or pet waste packages are also exempt from the plastic ban. Stores may also sell smaller paper bags (smaller than 882 cubic inches), but all paper bags must contain a minimum of 40 percent post-consumer recycled content or wheat straw and be labeled with this percentage on the bag.

The Department of Ecology says the ban will reduce pollution in recycling and composting systems and promote the use of recycled materials, while also “building sustainability in policy and enforcement across the state” and “supporting the recycled paper industry”.

Members of the public will be able to notify executives of any business that does not cooperate with the ban via an online reporting form. Businesses that repeatedly fail to comply with the ban could face penalties of up to $250.

Local restrictions are already in place in Washington cities, including Seattle, Olympia, Tacoma and Edmonds, The Seattle Times reports, but the new measure will supersede earlier local laws.

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Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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