The city of Kent’s plastic bag ban goes into effect on Sunday, March 1.
Retail stores, including grocery stores, will no longer offer thin plastic bags at checkout. When stores provide large paper bags or thicker plastic bags at checkout, stores will charge 8 cents per bag. Stores keep 100% of the fee to offset the cost of providing the bags. This fee does not apply to customers who receive benefits from WIC, TANF, SNAP or FAP. Some exceptions to the plastic bag restrictions apply. For example, plastic bags that protect produce will be allowed with no fee.
The city encourages residents to bring their own reusable bags to stores to prevent waste and avoid the per bag fee. Free reusable bags are available at the city’s Customer Service counter (400 W. Gowe St.) and at upcoming bag giveaway events, while supplies last (one per household please).
The City Council approved the ban in August. Plastic bags do not biodegrade and can take hundreds of years to break down into small toxic particles, which can seep into the soil, waterways, lakes and bays and pose a threat to animal life and the natural food chain, according to the city’s ordinance.
Thirty-seven jurisdictions in the state ban plastic bans. The state Senate approved a bill to ban plastic bags this legislative session but the House hasn’t voted on the bill yet.
For more information about the restrictions, visit KentWA.gov/BringYourOwnBag, call 253-856-5589, or email TalkingTrash@KentWA.gov.
Future bag giveaway events will be at:
• Kent Station (417 Ramsay Way) – Tuesday, March 17 – 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
• QFC (13304 SE 240 St.) – Friday, March 20 – 3 to 5 p.m.