Members of the House Committee on Environment & Energy discussed the bill earlier this week.
So far, Governor Inslee has delayed the start of the ban from January 1 to January 31. The bill sponsored by Rep. Strom Peterson (D-Edmonds) delays the ban until July 1, 2021 and would allow Inslee to request an extension through January 1, 2022 with at least 45 days’ notice.
Retailers challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic for numerous unrelated reasons were encountering delays in securing replacement bags as required by the proposed ban.
“To delay it until July 1, we think that is a much more doable goal,” Johnson told the newspaper. “We’re fully in support of the bill, and we’re hoping the Legislature will pick it up, run with it very early and approve it quickly.”
Johnson also noted that the bill would provide a consistent standard for bag use across the state by replacing a patchwork of 39 differing bans approved in various local jurisdictions. Stores have a full year to clear their inventories of purchased plastic bags as long as they’re not under a local plastic bag ban.