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The Reusable Bag Ordinance (3643-18) prohibits retail establishments from providing thin, single-use plastic carryout bags (less than 2.25 mils in thickness) to consumers and requires that retailers charge a minimum of 5 cents for each large paper or durable “reusable” plastic carryout bag provided. The ordinance was approved by the Everett City Council on December 5, 2018, in an effort to reduce waste and protect the environment.
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September 30, 2019
Any retail establishment that sells a product and provides carryout bags to consumers is subject to the ordinance. This includes retail stores, restaurants, businesses and vendors.
Yes, food banks may provide any type of bag without charging carryout bag fees.
Retail establishments may provide consumers large paper bags and durable “reusable” plastic bags as carryout bags with a minimum 5-cent fee.
Small paper bags are not subject to the ordinance and may be provided to consumers to hold or protect items.
Bags provided in-store for such items as bulk foods, meats, produce, bakery goods and flowers are still allowed. Only thin, single-use bags used for “carryout” are prohibited.
Yes, thin single-use plastic bags may be provided for takeout food, if it is placed in a qualifying carryout bag (large paper bag or durable plastic bag). This is to protect public health and safety.
By charging a carryout bag fee, the city is incentivizing consumers to switch to reusable bags to reduce waste.
The retailer retains the carryout bag fee to help defray the cost of implementing the ordinance.
Yes, retailers can choose to charge carryout bag fees for other bags provided to consumers at their discretion.
Yes, the following carryout bags are exempt from the ordinance: newspaper bags, door-hanger bags, tire bags, laundry/dry cleaning bags and bags sold in packages containing multiple bags for uses such as food storage, garbage, pet waste or yard waste.
All residents are encouraged to bring their own reusable bags, however, to ease the impact on low-income customers, retailers must waive the carryout bag fee for customers paying with a voucher or electronic benefits card issued under:
Residents can pick up a free reusable bag at the City’s utility billing counter (3101 Cedar St.), when signing a pledge to decrease their use of plastic. Bags are available while supplies last. Reusable bags are also available for purchase at most grocery stores.
Wash your bags regularly for your health and safety. Consider designating specific bags for carrying meat, seafood, produce, and cleaning products to avoid contamination. Likewise, consider having some reusable bags for non-food purchases like books and household items that won’t need to be washed as often.
Plastic bags are accepted for recycling at many grocery stores. Visit plasticfilmrecycling.com for locations.
Visit everettwa.gov/BringYourBag for resources and information. For questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-257-7205.