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Kirkland News Room

Five cent paper bag fee suspended for some businesses

KIRKLAND, Wash. –  At its April 19, 2016 meeting, the Kirkland City Council temporarily suspended for some Kirkland retailers the requirement in the City’s Plastic Bag Reduction Policy ordinance to charge customers five cents for large paper bags.  The amended ordinance, passed by a vote of 4-2, will go into effect on May 1, 2016 and will expire one year later on May 1, 2017.  The five cent paper bag fee requirement will remain in effect for grocery, convenience, and drug stores; gas stations; and warehouse clubs.   

The temporary suspension of the five cent bag fee will give smaller retailers additional time to adjust to the City’s new policy, which went into effect on March 1, 2016.  Retailers for which the paper bag fee was suspended may continue to charge the fee at their discretion during the suspension period. The five cents for each paper bag is retained by the retailer to offset the cost of paper bags. The five cent paper bag fee is included in 11 of the 14 plastic bag reduction policies in Washington State to provide a nominal but effective incentive to customers to bring their own reusable bags when shopping. 

All retailers affected by the plastic bag reduction policy will be contacted and advised of their status concerning their requirement to charge for or temporarily not charge for paper bags.  A complete list of retailers and each retailer’s status will be available on the City’s website at Residents and businesses with questions about the temporary suspension of the five cent paper bag fee can call the Recycling Hotline at (425) 587-3812 or send an email to

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Contact: John MacGillivray
Public Works/Solid Waste
(425) 587-3804