Kristine Major

New Law to Reduce Single-Use Plastics

Kristine Major, Solid Waste Educator, 509.625.6521

Monday, December 20, 2021 at 3:22 p.m.

New Law to Reduce Single-Use Plastics

In the United States, we use nearly 1 trillion pieces of single-use serviceware each year! That’s a lot of plastics going into landfills, incinerators, and the environment. On Jan. 1, 2022, Washington’s Single-use Serviceware Law goes into effect to combat this waste issue. So, what does this mean for you?

Starting on Saturday, Jan. 1, businesses in Washington may not automatically include serviceware with your food order. There will be no more ketchup packets and plastic forks added to your to-go bag. You will have to verbally confirm that you want single-use items, or you must select items from self-serve stations provided by the business. Single-use items that are included in this new law are plastic utensils, straws, condiment packages, and cup lids for cold beverages (except for drive-thrus). Items that are not restricted with this law include lids for hot beverages, plates, bowls, cups, or wrappers for takeout items.

Though you will have the option to ask for single-use serviceware, think about taking your own reusable items with you when you are going out to eat. Or keep a set of durable utensils along with a cloth napkin and a reusable straw in your bag or glove compartment in case you need them. Reducing waste should be everyone’s New Year’s resolution!

Also remember, plastic serviceware never goes in the blue recycling cart. If you have any questions or concerns about this new law, please go to the Washington Department of Ecology website, or call 360.407.6000.

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