The Snohomish City Council voted to ban plastic bags at registers, starting in 2020. (Sue Misao / The Herald)

The Snohomish City Council voted to ban plastic bags at registers, starting in 2020. (Sue Misao / The Herald)

No more plastic bags in Snohomish after the holidays

Gift-givers might catch the last of them. Plastic shopping bags are banned starting in 2020.

SNOHOMISH — Shoppers flock to First Street each holiday season to stroll through lights and peek into window displays, and warm up inside coffee shops and buy gifts.

Businesses won’t be able to hand out plastic bags with those purchases after next season.

The Snohomish City Council on Tuesday voted, with one member opposed, to ban plastic bags at registers. The law goes into effect on Jan. 1. After that, people have to buy paper bags for 10 cents each or bring their own. Those who receive food assistance won’t have to pay the fee.

The city wants retailers to have enough time to use up their plastic surplus, said Wendy Poischbeg, the city’s economic development director.

There will be a soft launch starting in October. It coincides with the re-opening of the Fred Meyer stire on Bickford Avenue, after renovations. The store plans to hand out reusable bags during that time.

“While we have all these shoppers, let’s get them on board to bring their own bags before the holidays,” Poischbeg said.

The new rule only applies to bags given at the point of sale. Rolls of plastic bags will remain in the meat, produce and bulk departments, and the usual film can still protect dry cleaning and newspapers. Those who don’t comply could be fined up to $250.

Karen Gahm has been working with a group called Green Snohomish for about a year to reduce plastic use in the city. She couldn’t make it to last week’s council meeting.

Gahm wasn’t surprised to hear the news.

“A year ago, I would have been,” she said. “But this council has gotten a tremendous amount of education and took it to heart.”

Snohomish joins dozens of others in the state. Edmonds was the first place in Washington to enact this kind of law, about a decade ago. Last month the city also banned single-use, non-compostable food containers. Everett banned plastic bags in December.

Lawmakers have drafted a plan to get rid of the sacks across the state.

In that case, every jurisdiction would follow the same rules.

Stephanie Davey: 425-339-3192; sdavey@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @stephrdavey.

Talk to us

More in Local News

A driver struck a woman in a motorized wheelchair Saturday in Lynnwood. (Lynnwood police)
Woman on wheelchair hit by car in Lynnwood, seriously hurt

The woman was on a sidewalk, passing by a drive-thru in Lynnwood, when a driver pulled out and hit her.

A barge worker hauls in an oil boom before heading off with the remains of the Mukilteo Ferry Dock ramp and pier on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021 in Mukilteo, Washington. With the new dock in operation, all that is left is to tear down the old ticket building. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Old Mukilteo ferry dock afloat on the barge of ‘Lincoln Logs’

The haul included 213 wood pilings, 15 concrete pilings, 47 steel pilings and a “Speed Limit 15” sign.

State Patrol worker from Everett charged with attempted child rape

Trevor Smith worked as a commercial vehicle enforcement officer assigned inspecting school buses.

FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2021, file photo, the Legislative Building is shown partially shrouded in fog at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. Washington state's richest residents, including Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, would pay a wealth tax on certain financial assets worth more than $1 billion under a proposed bill whose sponsor says she is seeking a fair and equitable tax code. Under the bill, starting Jan. 1, 2022, for taxes due in 2023, a 1% tax would be levied not on income, but on "extraordinary" assets ranging from cash, publicly traded options, futures contracts, and stocks and bonds. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Federal package could drive more than $10B to Washington

The state would get $7.6B for COVID response, schools and child care. Snohomish County is in line for $160M.

Samantha Lake
Missing girl, 12, found safely

Seattle FBI located Samantha Lake on Friday.

Everett man identified after being found dead in creek

The cause of death for Renee Baltazar Romero remained under investigation Thursday.

Jeanette Ho Shin Weddell, 96, died of COVID-19 on Dec. 29, 2020. (Contributed photo)
Marysville grandmother, 96, was one in half a million lost

In a week when the president took time to mourn COVID deaths, local families were grieving, too.

An access road leads into plot of land located in north Darrington that could potentially be used to build a 30-acre Wood Innovation Center, which will house CLT manufacturing and modular building companies on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 in Darrington, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
$6 million grant is green light for Darrington timber center

The Darrington Wood Innovation Center is set to become a reality — bringing roughly 150 jobs with it.

Report shows vaccine inequities in Snohomish County

The county’s Hispanic population is getting doses at a third of the rate of white residents.

Most Read