Seattle retailers prepare for plastic bag ban starting July 1

Seattle businesses are getting ready for that city's plastic bag ban which kicks in July 1.

Seattle businesses are getting ready for that city's plastic bag ban which kicks in July 1. 

Shoppers can’t walk into a Seattle store this week without an employee warning of the 11 days — and counting — until the looming ban on plastic bags will take effect.

On July 1, customers at all Seattle retail stores will no longer be able to pack away their purchases in single-use, plastic shopping bags. They will have the choice to either bring in bags from home or pay the store’s fees for the bags that they provide.

This ordinance, which was passed by the Seattle City Council last December is part of an effort to reduce Seattle’s solid waste production and protect marine life in Puget Sound. The law marks Seattle’s second try at limiting the use of plastic bags, since the City Council’s 2008 ordinance to charge 20 cents per plastic shopping bag was repealed by voters in a referendum.

Dick Lilly, the business manager for waste prevention for the Seattle Public Utilities Solid Waste Utility, said that the public’s acceptance of this second attempt to decrease the use of plastic bags is largely due to its much smaller cost to the consumer.

“It’s easier for the public to look at the environmental goals of a ban as long as there is no direct charge to them in most cases,” Lilly said.

Read more in the Puget Sound Business Journal.

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