Plastic Bag Ban

Update March 24, 2020

In order to protect the health and safety of grocery and retail workers, the plastic bag ban has been temporarily suspended.

The Burien City Council unanimously passed an ordinance on January 7, 2019 to ban carryout plastic bags in restaurants and retail establishments. The new law took effect on January 1, 2020, giving Burien businesses time to use their current stock of plastic bags.

Council is considering a second ordinance that would ban non-compostable food service products such as plastic straws, polystyrene containers, and food service utensils.

Specifically, the plastic bag ban ordinance:

  • Bans plastic bags from being provided at point of sale.
  • Requires business owners collect a minimum 10-cent charge for paper bags.
  • Allows businesses to keep the 10-cent charge.
  • Exempts damp or contaminated items, such as roasted chicken bags.
  • Exempts in-store plastic bags like produce bags, bulk item bags, and bags for meat.
  • Provides encouragement to food banks, who will be exempt from the ban, to transition away from plastic bags.

A retailer may not collect the 10-cent charge from people presenting a voucher or electronic benefits card (EBT) issued under certain assistance programs, including Women Infants and Children (WIC), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Basic Food), and the Washington State Food Assistance Program.

The law affects all retail businesses within the city of Burien, including grocery stores, convenience stores, fast food, and temporary retailers and vendors such as at farmers markets and festivals. The City is providing support for restaurants and retailers affected by the ban.

Resources for businesses

The City of Burien can provide design files in multiple sizes of the Point of Sale sign (English, Spanish, and Vietnamese).

Resources in English

Resources in Spanish

Resources in Vietnamese 

More information