Are you using your own grocery bag? If you're not you only have days to buy a bag and get used to using it. Otherwise be prepared to pay.

IF YOU DON'T HAVE YOUR OWN BAG YOU'LL BE PAYING ON FRIDAY

That's because the state's plastic bag ban starts on Friday, October 1. State officials say the bag ban stops the availability of single-use plastic carry-out bags by restaurants, retail, small vendor, and grocery stores.
The ban was set to take effect on January 1 of this year but was delayed because of the pandemic but now it's set to impact retailers and consumers on the first of October. That means on Friday Yakima grocery stores will charge customers 8 cents for each compliant plastic or paper bag. That's not a tax but rather a sale kept by the merchant to provide incentive for customers to bring their own bags and to recoup the costs for the more durable compliant bags.

SOME PLACES DON'T HAVE TO PAY ATTENTION TO THE BAN

Food banks and pantries and those getting food stamps aren't subject to the 8 cent charge. Some bags are exempt like those used to wrap meats and produce, bags for prescriptions, and newspaper or dry-cleaning bags.

Laurie Davies, manager of Ecology’s Solid Waste Management Program says “single-use plastic bags are not easily recyclable, which makes managing them at the end of their lives almost impossible, reducing their use will protect our rivers and streams, and help our recycling system run more efficiently.”

THE BAN IS SUPPOSED TO HELP THE ENVIRONMENT

State officials say "plastic bags are a common form of pollution that threatens human health, wildlife, and the environment. Harmful chemicals are released when plastics are produced, used, incinerated, or slowly disintegrate into microscopic particles. Plastic bags are also a major contaminant in Washington’s recycling system that clog sorting machines and put worker safety at risk."

So get used to your own bag or get ready to pay on Friday when the ban takes effect in Yakima and around the state on Friday, October 1.

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