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Washington’s Thurston County Passes Plastic Bag BanWashington’s Thurston County Passes Plastic Bag Ban

Allan Gerlat

September 30, 2013

1 Min Read
Washington’s Thurston County Passes Plastic Bag Ban

Washington’s Thurston County Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance that will ban most plastic carryout bags in the unincorporated parts of the county.

Commissioners for the county, which includes the state capital, Olympia, said in a news release the ban will begin July 1 of next year.

The new ordinance eliminates thin-film plastic carryout bags in unincorporated Thurston County. Certain plastic bags are exempt, including in-store bags for things like bulk items, produce and meat. The ban does not include plastic bags for prepared take-out food, dry cleaning, newspapers or garbage bags sold in packages.

The ordinance places a fee on paper bags to help stores offset the higher costs of providing paper bags. The fee is intended as an incentive for shoppers to bring their own bags.

The legislation is modeled on similar plastic bag ban ordinances currently in place in seven other Washington cities.

Earlier in the month the city council for Tumwater approved a similar ban on plastic grocery-style bags, becoming the first city in Thurston County to approve a ban.

The county move comes shortly before the county’s major waste and recycling collection provider, LeMay Inc., discontinues collecting plastic carryout bags and other plastic film.

“The costs of trying to manage plastic film are mounting, and the environmental damage is mounting,” said County Commission Chairman Sandra Romero. “This ordinance is our best chance to get a handle on the problems our community faces with plastic bags."

About the Author(s)

Allan Gerlat

News Editor, Waste360

Allan Gerlat joined the Waste360 staff in September 2011 as news editor. He was the editor of Waste & Recycling News for the first 16 years of its history, and under his guidance the publication won 27 national and regional awards.

Before Waste & Recycling News, Allan worked at another Crain Communications publication, Rubber & Plastics News, which covers rubber product manufacturing. He began with the publication as associate editor and eventually became managing editor, a position he held for nine years.

Allan is a graduate of Ohio University, where he earned a BS in journalism. He is based in Sagamore Hills, in northeast Ohio.

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