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Snohomish City Council passes plastic bag ban

Published:2019-02-20 City
Snohomish City Council passes plastic bag ban    Print Snohomish Times    
Snohomish City Council passes plastic bag ban

Snohomish, Wash. February 20, 2019 – On Tuesday, February 19, 2019, the Snohomish City Council passed an ordinance to ban single-use plastic bags distribution and require retailers to charge consumers for paper bags at the point of sale. The law goes into effect on January 1, 2020.
The ordinance was drafted in response to Council direction after community members expressed concern over the long-term negative environmental impacts made by plastic bags, straws and utensils. This first step, banning single-use plastic bags is based on the most popular bag management system implemented by 27 other Western Washington cities.
“It is the option that best balances and reconciles the economic impacts to the retailers and the consumer, provides substantial benefit to the environment, and provides for a reasonable amount of fairness between the retailer, the consumer and the government,” said Jason Sanders, Council President. “This ordinance, is also consistent with the proposed plastic bag restrictions at the state level,” he said.
The Snohomish bag management program bans single-use plastic bags and requires retailers to charge consumers 10-cents for paper bags. Along with the pass thru charge, the ordinance sets up requirements for recycled paper bags which would have to be at least 40% post-consumer recycled material.
“This bag ban provides a grace period of 9 months so retailers can use up their bag inventories,” said Councilwoman Lynn Schilaty. “It will also give retailers time to develop implementation and compliance strategies, and train their employees.”
The 9-month grace period will also give the City of Snohomish an opportunity to provide education and outreach to its residents, distribute reusable bags, and contact and visit its businesses to provide assistance to help them achieve compliance.
A soft rollout is timed for October before the holidays.

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