Burien Passes Ordinance to Ban Plastic Bags

The Bring Your Own Bag Ordinance Takes Effect on January 1, 2020
Posted on 08/21/2019
Bring Your Own Bag Ordinance

The Burien City Council unanimously passed an ordinance on January 7, 2019 to ban carryout plastic bags in restaurants and retail establishments. The new law will take effect on January 1, 2020, giving Burien businesses time to use their current stock of plastic bags.

Specifically, the plastic bag ban ordinance:

  • Bans plastic bags from being provided at point of sale.
  • Requires business owners collect a minimum 10-cent charge for paper bags.
  • Allows businesses to keep the 10-cent charge.
  • Exempts damp or contaminated items, such as roasted chicken bags.
  • Exempts in-store plastic bags like produce bags, bulk item bags, and bags for meat.
  • Provides encouragement to food banks, who will be exempt from the ban, to transition away from plastic bags.

A retailer may not collect the 10-cent charge from people presenting a voucher or electronic benefits card (EBT) issued under certain assistance programs, including Women Infants and Children (WIC), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Basic Food), and the Washington State Food Assistance Program.

The law affects all retail businesses within the city of Burien, including grocery stores, convenience stores, fast food, and temporary retailers and vendors such as at farmers markets and festivals. The City is providing support for restaurants and retailers affected by the ban. 

The City is providing a limited number of free reusable bags at community events to help shoppers prepare for the ban to take effect.

More information

For media inquiries, please contact:

Emily Inlow-Hood
Communications Officer
emilyi@burienwa.gov
(206) 439-3167

For questions about the plastic bag ban or to get support for your business, please contact:

Mary Eidmann
Environmental Education Specialist
environment@burienwa.gov (206) 248-5511