Gov. Inslee delays implementation of plastic bag law

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Gov. Jay Inslee has issued a proclamation delaying the implementation of a law banning retailers from using single-use plastic bags.

Inslee issued the proclamation Friday, saying a law that passed the 2020 legislative session that was set to go into effect on Jan. 1 will be on hold at least through January because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The governor in a news release cited supply issues affecting retailers’ ability to procure the alternative bags, including: increased demand for paper and thicker plastic bags, due to more demand for takeout and groceries; thicker plastic bag manufacturers turning to making hospital gowns and PPE, and a ban on people bringing bags from home to use at stores to protect workers.

The order will expire at the end of January unless the Legislature extends it, Inslee said.