Chapter 6.80
PLASTIC BAG REDUCTION

Sections:

6.80.010    Definitions.

6.80.020    Types of checkout bags permitted at retail establishments.

6.80.040    Operative date.

6.80.050    Exemptions.

6.80.060    Severability.

6.80.070    Enforcement officer and penalties.

6.80.010 Definitions.

A. “Checkout bag” means a bag that is provided by a retail establishment at the check stand, cash register, point of sale or other point of departure for the purpose of transporting food or merchandise out of the establishment. Checkout bags do not include bags provided solely for produce, bulk food or meat at a produce, bulk food or meat department within a grocery store, supermarket, produce or meat market, or other similar retail establishment, or bags provided to carry out food cooked or prepared at a restaurant or other similar food and beverage establishment.

B. “Recyclable paper bag” or “recyclable paper checkout bag” means a paper bag that meets all of the following requirements: (1) contains no old growth fiber, (2) is 100 percent recyclable overall and contains a minimum of 40 percent post-consumer recycled content, and (3) displays the word “Recyclable” on the outside of the bag.

C. “Retail establishment” means any commercial business facility engaged in the sale of goods to consumers for ultimate consumption.

D. “Reusable bag” means a bag with handles that is specifically designed and manufactured for multiple reuse and is either (1) made of cloth or other machine-washable fabric, and/or (2) made of durable plastic that is at least 2.25 mils thick and is suitable for reuse.

E. “Single-use plastic checkout bag” means any checkout bag made from plastic, excluding reusable bags. [Ord. 3749 § 1, 2009].

6.80.020 Types of checkout bags permitted at retail establishments.

A. All retail establishments within the city of Edmonds shall provide only the following as checkout bags to customers: reusable bags and/or recyclable paper bags.

B. Nothing in this chapter shall be read to preclude retail establishments from making reusable bags available for sale to customers.

C. The city of Edmonds shall work with retailers, retail associations, unions and other organizations to create educational elements about the benefits of reusable bags. This may include signage at store locations, informational literature, and employee training and will take place before and after the operative date. All retail establishments are strongly encouraged to educate their staff to promote reusable bags as the best option for checkout bags and to post signs encouraging customers to use reusable bags. [Ord. 3749 § 1, 2009].

6.80.040 Operative date.

All retail establishments shall comply with the requirements of this chapter by the first anniversary of the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter, which is August 27, 2009. The purpose of this one-year implementation period is to (A) allow time for affected retailers to prepare for and adapt to the provisions of this chapter; (B) allow time for the educational program to take effect and encourage the use of reusable bags; and (C) enable the city council to work with members of the community and affected parties to evaluate alternatives or modifications needed to address issues regarding provisions or implementation of this chapter. [Ord. 3749 § 1, 2009].

6.80.050 Exemptions.

The mayor, or his or her designee, may exempt a retail establishment from the requirements of this chapter for a period of up to one additional year after the operative date of the ordinance codified in this chapter, upon sufficient showing by the applicant that the provisions of this chapter would cause undue hardship. This request must be submitted in writing to the city within 30 days of the effective date of this chapter. The phrase “undue hardship” may include, but is not limited to, the following:

A. Situations where there are no acceptable alternatives to single-use plastic checkout bags for reasons which are unique to the applicant retail establishment.

B. Situations where compliance with the requirements of this chapter would deprive a person of a legally protected right. [Ord. 3749 § 1, 2009].

6.80.060 Severability.

If any provision or clause of this chapter is held to be unconstitutional or otherwise invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions of this chapter, and clauses of this chapter are declared to be severable. [Ord. 3749 § 1, 2009].

6.80.070 Enforcement officer and penalties.

A. Prior to the “comply by date” in ECC 6.80.040, the mayor shall designate an existing department in the city as the department charged with enforcing the provisions of this chapter. The head of the department and his or her designees shall be the enforcement officers with authority and powers to issue civil infractions for violations of provisions of this chapter.

B. A violation of any provision of this chapter shall constitute a Class I civil infraction pursuant to Chapter 7.80 RCW. Issuance and disposition of infractions issued for violations of this chapter shall be in accordance with Chapter 7.80 RCW. The penalty for violation of a provision of this chapter shall be $100.00. The penalty for a second or subsequent offense in violation of the provision of this chapter within two years shall be $250.00.

C. The remedies and penalties provided in this section are cumulative and not exclusive. [Ord. 3749 § 1, 2009].