Plastic bag ban passes Washington Senate

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OLYMPIA, Wash. — A ban on single-use plastic bags has passed the state Senate.

Lawmakers approved the measure 31-14 Tuesday, sending it to the state House.

The bill would ban stores from giving out single-use plastic bags starting in 2020 and require an 8-cent charge for other bags handed out.

Passage in the Senate marks progress for the idea in the Capitol, where it has been introduced before. Lawmakers proposed a bag ban in 2015 and a bag tax in 2017, but neither reached preliminary votes.

Beyond banning single-use plastic bags, the bill would require paper bags to have at least 40 percent recycled material.

Some disposable plastic bags used inside stores would be exempt from the ban, including for bulk items like fruits, vegetables and loose parts.

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