The plastic bag ban takes effect on October 1, 2021.
During the 2020 legislative session, the Legislature passed a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags, an effort to reduce plastic pollution, litter, and waste. This ban will also benefit Washington's recycling system:
- Reducing contamination in the recycling and compost systems
- Promoting reuse and recycled content
- Building consistency in policy and enforcement across the state
- Supporting the recycled paper industry
The State of Washington Department of Ecology states, "As Washington transitions away from single-use plastic bags, we will continue to provide technical assistance, education, and outreach materials to businesses and the public. We collaborated with local governments, retailers, business associations, and non-profits to begin this effort, and have developed a bag ban outreach toolkit that is formatted for accessibility and available in 17 languages."
Washington state will release a form for reporting observations of businesses not in compliance with the new requirements. The state will use this information to follow up with businesses to ensure their understanding of the new law. Repeated non-compliance may result in penalties.
Additional information is available on the State of Washington Department of Ecology website.