The Kirkland City Council approved a plastic-bag reduction law this week that will be effective next year on March 1. The city will join Seattle, Shoreline, Issaquah, Mercer Island and Bellingham in instituting similar plastic-bag reduction policies.
Kirkland’s new ordinance will require large retailers to stop using single-use plastic bags and to charge customers five cents for each recyclable paper bag they provide in order to encourage use of re-usable bags.
The city says the law will affect about 170 businesses, which now have a year to clear out their current stock of plastic bags and prepare for the law to take effect. The law makes exemptions for plastic bags used to contain foods bought in bulk, hardware items, frozen foods and meats, take-out food, newspapers, pet waste, dry-cleaning bags, and garbage bags.
All but one Kirkland City Council member, Toby Nixon, voted in favor of the law. More information on the city’s new policy and its effort to educate businesses and consumers is available on its website.