The Kirkland City Council joined several other cities in Western Washington in adopting a plastic bag reduction policy ordinance in February 2015. After a year of preparation and outreach, the plastic bag reduction policy will go into effect March 1, 2016. Retailers in Kirkland will no longer provide single-use, disposable plastic carryout bags to customers. Kirkland’s ordinance requires large retailers to charge customers a minimum five cent fee for each large recyclable paper bag to encourage consumers to use reusable bags. The ordinance allows for several exemptions, including bags used to contain bulk food and bulk hardware items, produce and meat, take-out food, newspapers and dry cleaning.
Retailers were notified of the policy when it passed and had one year to prepare for the ordinance. During the one-year period, the City implemented a comprehensive education and outreach plan that included the creation and distribution of outreach materials to businesses and residents, distribution of thousands high-quality reusable bags, visits to retailers and appearances at public events. To ease the transition for residents, the City is providing a free reusable bag, per household, that can be picked up at City Hall.
Full information on the plastic bag reduction policy, as well as educational resources and links to staff memoranda, are available at kirklandwa.gov/bringyourbag. Residents and businesses with questions can call the Recycling Hotline at 425-587-3812 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.