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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, November 13, 2014
Terri Thomas, Solid Waste Division Education & Outreach Specialist at

Take the Plastic Bag Survey by Jan. 10
Feedback needed from customers, retailers for four-month report on bag bans

Thurston County Solid Waste is seeking input on the bag ordinances that took effect July 1 in the cities of Tumwater, Olympia and Lacey, and the unincorporated areas of Thurston County.

"It's been a bit over four months since the start date, and it's important that we check in with customers and retailers to get a good picture of how it's working so far," said Terri Thomas, Education and Outreach Specialist for the county's Solid Waste Division.

The new law prohibits most retailers from providing single-use plastic carryout bags. It also requires them to charge a minimum of five cents for large paper bags, which the stores keep. The fee helps offset the higher cost of paper bags and acts as an incentive for customers to bring reusable bags. Customers using EBT and other assistance programs are exempt from the charge.

Complying with the new ordinances required some adjustments for both retailers and their customers. Thurston County Solid Waste staff is eager to get feedback on their experiences now that the plastic bag bans have been in place for more than four months. The information from the surveys will be included in a status report on the ordinances that's due in early 2015.

The two online surveys—one for retailers and one for customers—are available at www.ThurstonSolidWaste.org/plastics. Retailers can also download signs from the website to post in their stores to encourage customers to take the survey. Those signs and more information are available by clicking on the "Resources for retailers" link. You can also sign up for the Solid Waste Division's newsletters to be notified when the status report on the plastic bag ordinance is released. Just click on the envelope icon on the right side of the web page to sign up.

For more information about the plastic bag ban ordinances or the customer and retailer surveys, contact Terri Thomas at ThomasTe@co.thurston.wa.us or (360) 867-2279.


County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3