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Bring Your Own Bag Ordinance Goes Into Effect July 12

Tacoma's Bring Your Own Bag Ordinance Goes Into Effect July 12


June 30, 2017



Gwen Schuler, Media and Communications, gschuler@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-5152

Stacy Ellifritt, Media and Communications, stacy.ellifritt@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-2005


Tacoma's Bring Your Own Bag Ordinance Goes Into Effect July 12


A year of outreach and planning is coming to a close and on Wednesday, July 12, the City of Tacoma’s Bring Your Own Bag Ordnance will go into effect.  On this date, thin plastic checkout bags will no longer be distributed at any Tacoma area retail establishment.


“With Tacoma residents using over 70 million single-use plastic bags each and every year, this effort offers the opportunity to decrease litter in our neighborhoods and waterways and reduce the impact on our environment,” said Council Member Ryan Mello. “It's actions like these that over time add up to create an even healthier and cleaner community.”


The ordinance further requires retail establishments to collect a minimum pass-through charge of 5 cents per recycled paper or reusable checkout bags requested by customers. Customers with EBT, WIC and TANF benefits will not have to pay the pass-through charge on paper bags, and no fee will be charged at the checkout stand to shoppers who bring their own bag. Produce bags, dry cleaning bags, prepared take-out food bags and pharmacy prescriptions bags will continue to be available at no charge. 


The law affects all retail businesses within the city of Tacoma, including grocery stores, convenience stores, department stores, and all others including temporary retailers and vendors at farmers markets and festivals. To determine if a business is within city limits, search for the address on the MyTacoma govME website.


The City has been providing free reusable bags to help shoppers prepare for the ordinance. Bags are mostly being distributed through social service organizations, as well as at the City’s Environmental Services booth during community events throughout the summer. These bags are available while supplies last. 


Visit cityoftacoma.org/ShoppingBags for shopper and business information that includes free reusable bag locations, tips to remember bags, as well as downloadable resources and translated collateral pieces. Inquiries can be sent to sustainability@cityoftacoma.org or (253) 591-5172.