Several local bag bans put on hold during virus crisis

Apr 2, 2020
Written by Mark Johnson, Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs

As the COVID-19 virus rages across our country, several local governments in Washington State have decided to suspend bag bans in hopes of slowing the spread and easing the burden on shoppers and businesses.

There are more than 30 local governments that have a bag ordinance on the books. Many of them have taken action to waive fees and/or suspend bans to allow businesses and their customers to help respond to the pandemic. There have been concerns about shoppers using reusable bags and the possibility of them spreading the virus. Also, there are concerns with supplies and availability.

Most recently, the City of Mukilteo is poised to ratify a proposed ordinance and the Mayoral proclamation on April 6 to lift their ban until April 24.

If you have an essential retail business in a city or county that has a bag ordinance, please check their website to see if they have suspended their regulation.

Additionally, WR encourages other cities and counties to consider suspending their ordinances until this crisis is over.

Reminder – the 2020 Legislature and Governor have passed a statewide plastic bag ban that will pre-empt all local governments next year.