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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, May 5, 2016
Contact:
Greg Gachowsky, Waste Reduction Specialist at 360-867-2281 or gachowg@co.thurston.wa.us

Thurston County Businesses Invited to take Survey on Plastic Bag Ban
Results to go into report on the impacts on waste, litter and businesses

Thurston County Businesses Invited to take Survey on Plastic Bag BanResults to go into report on the impacts on waste, litter and businessesThurston County invites retail owners and managers participating in the plastic bag ban since 2014, to provide their feedback through an online survey during the month of May. The goal of the survey is to assess the impacts of the plastic bag ban on retail businesses.

The plastic bag ordinance, passed in July of 2014, includes a reporting mandate, one part of which requires Thurston County to evaluate "the financial impact to retail establishments of implementing this ordinance." The online survey is designed to help meet this requirement. The feedback businesses provide in this survey will be essential to creating a more complete picture of the effect of the bag ban in Thurston County. To take the survey, owners and managers of retail establishments should clickhere.

"A lot of work was done before the ban to gain input from the retail industry to help shape components of the ordinance. Some of this work resulted in the 5-cent fee that retailers receive for each large paper bag a customer uses." said Greg Gachowsky, Waste Reduction Specialist for the County's Solid Waste Division. Under the ordinance, retailers are required to charge at least 5-cents to help recover their costs and to serve as an incentive to customers to bring a reusable bag when shopping. Customers using vouchers or electronic benefit (EBT) cards from state or federal food assistance programs for grocery purchases are exempt from the 5-cent paper bag charge.

The plastic bag ban was adopted by Lacey, Olympia, Tumwater, and the unincorporated areas of Thurston County. The ban is aimed at plastic carryout bags 2.25 mil or thinner. Certain plastic bags are exempt from the ban, including in-store bags for products like bulk food items, produce, and meat. To find out more about the ordinance and which bags and stores are exempt visit This Page.

The results of the retail survey will include findings related to the waste and litter impacts of the ban in Thurston County, and will compare the effectiveness of the ban to other jurisdictions with similar bans. The ordinance requires that County Public Works complete the report by July 2016 and submit it to the Board of County Commissioners.

For more information, contact Greg Gachowsky at gachowg@co.thurston.wa.us or 360-867-2281.



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County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3