Single-use plastic bag ban goes into effect on Friday

OLYMPIA, Washington (AP) – A ban on single-use plastic bags that was originally scheduled to begin on the first of this year will go into effect Friday in Washington state.

The ban applies to single-use plastic take-out bags by restaurants, retail stories, small vendors and grocery stores, KIRO-TV reported. Gov. Jay Inslee postponed the ban because there weren’t enough compliant paper or plastic bags available when the ban was supposed to go into effect.

The Washington State Department of Ecology said plastic bags cause pollution other than obvious trash.

The department said harmful chemicals are released when plastics are made, used, burned or slowly disintegrate. The bags are not easily recyclable and clog sorting machines, putting workers at risk.

“Single-use plastic bags are not easily recyclable, making their end-of-life management almost impossible,” said Laurie Davies, solid waste management program manager at Ecology. “Reducing their use will protect our rivers and streams and help our recycling system run more efficiently. “

Authorities suggest people use reusable grocery bags or take food with them. Certain single-use plastic bags are permitted, including plastics for wrapping meats and products, prescription bags, and newspaper or dry cleaning bags.

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