Ellensburg ordinance requires retailers charge 5 cent fees for c - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Ellensburg ordinance requires retailers charge 5 cent fees for certain paper and plastic bags

Posted: Updated:

ELLENSBURG, WA - The City of Ellensburg adopted a carryout bag ordinance that requires retailers to charge a 5 cent fee for grocery size paper bags, and plastic carryout bags less than 2.25 mil. The retail establishments keep all revenue generated from the carryout bag fee. This ordinance goes into effect on January 1, 2018.

Exempt from the code are items such as: 1) Plastic bags used in stores for bulk items or to protect vegetables, meat, fish and poultry, frozen foods, flowers, deli foods and similar where moisture would be a problem are exempt; 2) Plastic bags for take-out orders from restaurants are allowed, though use of recyclable paper bags is encouraged; and 3) Dry-cleaner, newspaper, and door-hanger bags; and Customers participating in the WIC, TANF, SNAP or FAP.

Tips for Shoppers: 1) Keep reusable bags handy by your door or in your car; 2) Use your shopping cart to transport items purchased if you leave your bags in your car, then transfer your purchases from the shopping cart into your reusable bags; 3) Keep your reusable bags clean; and 4) Only use your reusable grocery bags for groceries not for other purposes such as carrying dirty gym clothes. 

Tips for Retailers: 1) As required by ordinance, post point of sale information about the carryout bag fee; 2) Reinforce the actions of those customers who bring their reusable bags by saying thank you; and 3) When appropriate have reusable bags available for sale.