Bag Program

Save. Recycle. It's in the Bag.

At Orcas Island Market, two of our core guiding principles are to be community-centered and to be environmentally responsible. We want to be proactive in helping the environment by reducing waste and we’ve followed with interest the national trend toward charging for grocery bags in local communities. 

Effective October 1, 2021, Governor Jay Inslee has mandated a ban on plastic bags in Washington State.

We will be charging 25¢ per large paper bag used for our customer’s groceries.  The net proceeds from each bag sold will be donated to support critical needs within the Orcas Island community, through a partnership with the Orcas Island Community Foundation. We have a fund at OICF to receive these proceeds and distribute grants from the funds. We’re excited about this decision because it allows us to reduce our environmental impact while donating more to our community.


This ban will also benefit Washington’s recycling system:
-Reducing contamination in the recycling and compost systems
-Promoting reuse and recycled content
-Building consistency in policy and enforcement across the state
-Supporting the recycled paper industry

Why ban single-use plastic bags?
-Every year Washingtonians use 2 billion single-use plastic bags
-Plastic bags are a big problem in the recycling system
-Plastic bags contain chemicals that are toxic once released into the environment
-Plastic pollution poses both physical and chemical threats to the marine environment
-Reusable bags or recyclable paper bags are a better alternative

Who does the ban apply to?
-All retail, grocery, and convenience stores.
-Any restaurant or establishment offering take-out or delivery food or goods.
-Temporary stores or vendors..
-Any event where food or goods are sold or distributed

What kind of bags are banned?
Any single-use, plastic carry-out bag provided at delivery, check stand, cash register, point of sale, or other point of departure to a customer.

Are there any restrictions on customers bringing their own bags? 
No. Customers are encouraged to bring and reuse their own bags when they shop. Some businesses may require customers to bag their own groceries in reusable bags. Customers should clean and disinfect their hands and reusable bags frequently.

Exceptions to the single-use plastic bag ban include those used by consumers inside stores for:
Bulk items
Frozen food
Potted plants
Prepared food or bakery goods
Prescription drugs

These bags are also exempt:
Newspaper bags
Mailing pouches
Sealed envelopes
Door hanger bags
Dry cleaning bags
Bags sold in packages with multiple bags, like food storage, garbage, or pet waste

Have a question or comment?  Reach out to us!