The Washington State Department of Health has proposed changes to its food safety rules. One of those changes is really important to help reduce plastic pollution: It would allow customers to refill their own clean containers with bulk food, deli items and more. That has not been officially allowed at stores in the past—and it’s time for a change.

Every reusable container that’s used will eliminate the need for a new single-use container that will quickly end up in the landfill or, worse, our ocean. Approximately 8.8 million tons of plastic enters the ocean each year, and seabirds, sea turtles, dolphins, whales and other animals die because they get tangled up in plastic or fill up their stomachs on plastic they mistake for food.

Please join us in encouraging the Department of Health to finalize and adopt this proposed rule change, which will help keep plastics out of the ocean and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from packaging production. Deadline for submissions is September 29, 2020.

Suggested comment language—please personalize to give it a bigger impact!

  • I strongly support the Department of Health’s proposed amendments to WAC 246-215-03348 Preventing contamination from equipment, utensils, and linens—Refilling returnables, part (6). 
  • I do not want new, single-use, excessive packaging with every food purchase. I care about this issue because ______.
  • I would really like to be able to bring my own clean reusable containers to get bulk food and other items from stores in Washington. Please adopt the proposed rule change on refilling reusables. 
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