Companion bills HB 1205 and SB 5323 prohibit single-use thin plastic grocery carryout bags across the state. Such bags clog recycling equipment and pollute our waterways with trash and smaller bits as they break down.
The bills also require a pass-through charge of 10 cents on all paper or durable, reusable plastic carryout bags to encourage shoppers to bring their own reusable carryout bags, and will level the field between small grocers and large chains that could bury this cost.
Exemptions are included for bags used for produce, newspapers, dry cleaning, small hardware items, prescription drugs, unwrapped prepared foods, bakery goods, frozen foods, meat, fish, flowers, and potted plants, and exempt recipients of food assistance programs. These bills would also increase state revenue slightly. Twenty-six jurisdictions in Washington State already have a reusable bag restriction ordinance, and these bills would make the regulations uniform across the state.
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