The Kirkland City Council voted to approve a proposed ban on most plastic bags at city businesses, despite a 2013 survey of residents that showed overwhelming opposition. The ban prohibits single-use plastic bags while allowing exemptions for plastic bags such as those used for transporting bulk food, hardware items, frozen foods, meats, and newspapers. It also requires retail stores to charge customers at least five cent fee for recyclable paper bags.
The new policy is scheduled to go into effect on March 1, 2016. It is estimated that the new regulation will affect approximately 170 retail businesses in Kirkland.