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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Terri Thomas, Education & Outreach Specialist, 360-867-2279, or ThomasTe@co.thurston.wa.us

Residents and Retailers Invited to Take Plastic Bag Survey
Online surveys now open through Jan. 15

Thurston County Solid Waste is seeking input on the bag ordinances that took effect July 1 in the cities of Tumwater, Olympia, Lacey, and the unincorporated areas of Thurston County. Currently there are 5,200 responses from residents and only 48 from businesses. County staff members are hoping for more feedback from the community before the surveys close on Thursday, January 15.

"This is your opportunity to share your experiences and let your elected officials know if you support the ordinances or not, so they can decide how best to move forward," said Terri Thomas, Education and Outreach Specialist for the county's Solid Waste Division. "We'd really like to have more retailers weigh in, now that the holiday rush is over."

The new laws prohibit 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. Staff are eager to hear from the community now that the plastic bag bans have been in place for almost six months. The information from the surveys will be included in a status report on the ordinances that's due in early 2015 and will be posted online.

The two online surveys-one for retailers and one for customers-are available at www.ThurstonSolidWaste.org/plastics. Both surveys are short and easy to complete.

You can also request to be notified when the status report on the plastic bag ordinances is released. Just click on the envelope icon on the right side of the web page to sign up. For more information, 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