Plastic Bag Reduction Policy

Statewide Plastic Bag Ban Effective October 1, 2021

Washington State's plastic bag policy supersedes the City of Kirkland's plastic bag reduction policy. Kirkland's policy was effective from March 1, 2016 through September 30, 2021.

Information for Businesses

Under the statewide policy, retail, grocery and restaurant businesses must charge at least 8 cents for each large paper or thick plastic bag. Learn more at

Washington State plastic bag policy requirements

Businesses should contact Shannon Jones at the Department of Ecology with questions at or 360-742-9874.

For the best environmental impact, the City encourages businesses to continue providing paper bags as their reusable option once the state policy takes effect, rather than providing plastic bags. Thicker plastic bags use more plastic than lightweight plastic bags yet may not be reused enough times to justify their impact.

Information for Residents

We encourage residents to continue carrying your own durable reusable bags, and choose paper over plastic if you need to buy a carryout bag. When you do purchase a paper or plastic reusable bag, please reuse it to minimize its environmental impacts.

Paper bags can be recycled in your cart at home. Plastic bags can be dropped off for recycling at participating grocery stores, along with other plastic film like overwrap, plastic mailing envelopes and bread bags.

Customers who notice retail businesses and restaurants continuing to use plastic bags may use the State's reporting tool to inform the Department of Ecology that educational followup may be needed, or enforcement after the business has received education.