Here Are Some New Washington Laws You Should Be Aware Of

Washington lawmakers wrapped up their legislative session with the passage of various reforms and new laws in 2021. Some of these bills are looking to keep some pandemic perks while one is addressing a longtime eco-issue. Here are some new laws that you should be aware of (and take advantage of) in the future.

Opening up the wine business

If you're interested in going into the wine industry, this is for you. Workers who are under 21 years old (but over 18) can now assist in supervised wine production. Here's the catch: they still can't “taste, consume, sell, or serve wine or liquor.” The bill aims to bridge the workforce gap in wineries and train more people before they're of-age.

Cracking down on plastic

While takeout was an essential option for keeping some businesses' doors open during the pandemic, experts and lawmakers were concerned about the long-lasting effects on the environment.

Single-use packages and utensils already an issue before the pandemic became more troublesome. Starting January 1, 2022, customers will have to request extras like utensils, straws, and lids. By June 2024, polystyrene products such as clam shell–style containers, plates, foam coolers will be banned.

To-go cocktails are here to stay... a bit longer

One of the better perks to come out of the pandemic was to-go mixed drinks. Not only did it give a boost to restaurants and bars, but customers got to enjoy something they've wanted for a while. Now a new law is extending this carryout option until July 1, 2023. However, there are caveats to this:

"Customers must order meals with their premixed drinks, and open-container laws remain prohibitive; picking up a manhattan to go isn’t a license to pop its lid right away," Seattle Met wrote. "Why wait to binge at home when shots, both of the boozy and mRNA variety, are so readily available? Perhaps the state should consider common consumption areas."

Photo: Getty Images