In March 2020, Washington joined over 300 US cities, eight states, five US territories, and over 120 countries in regulating single-use plastic bags.
Starting on January 1, 2021, plastic bags will not be available at checkout. Customers will be charged $0.08 for each paper bag or thick (2.25 mils) plastic bag used. Learn more about ESSB 5323.
Why restrict single-use plastic carryout bags?
To protect the environment
Plastics never fully degrade, breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces but remaining in our soil and waterways. Even in our landfill, it takes up to 1000 years for plastic bags to break down.
To decrease litter
Plastic bags increase litter in our parks and open spaces.
To improve recycling
Plastic bags are not accepted in curbside recycling bins. If they do end up in recycling bins, plastic bags get tangled in sorting machinery, causing the sorting process to stop. Not only does this slow down the process but workers have to repel into the equipment to physically untangle plastic bags.