Legislature considers statewide ban on plastic shopping bags

Feb 5, 2020
Written by wpengine

Plastic shopping bags would be banned statewide under a re-introduced bill under consideration this year by the state Legislature.

Senator Mona Das, (D- Kent), told The Columbian that 37 local jurisdictions around the state have banned single-use plastic bags. This, she said, demonstrates that banning plastic bags “is gaining momentum in the court of public opinion.”

Das is the prime sponsor of Senate Bill 5323 that would prohibit retailers from providing single-use plastic bags in favor of reusable carryout bags or recycled paper bags. It would require a retailer to collect a pass-through charge of 8 cents for each recycled paper or plastic carryout bag provided.

Washington Retail members are divided on whether to support the bill. The association is neutral on the bill.

Grocers who favor the bill say it would be better to establish a statewide policy on plastic bags as opposed to the current situation where they are banned in some places and allowed in others. The Senate has passed the bill and sent it to the House Environment and Energy Committee for further consideration.

The bill failed to become law during the 2019 Legislative Session.

Source: The Columbian