Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance
Frequently Asked Questions
When does the ordinance take effect?
- On July 1, 2012. Retail establishments must stop distributing single-use carryout plastic bags, and grocery stores (including supermarkets, convenience stores, liquor stores, and gasoline stations) must begin charging ten-cents for recyclable paper carryout bags.
Why is there a ten-cent fee on paper carryout bags?
- The fee on recyclable paper carryout bags encourages the use of reusable bags. The cost pass-through reimburses retailers for the costs of providing paper carryout bags to their customers. All the revenue from the cost pass-through remains with the store.
- Consumers can avoid the cost by remembering to bring their own reusable bags to the store.
How are single-use plastic carryout bags harmful to the environment?
- They are consumed in extremely high volumes.
- They are produced from non-renewable resources.
- They are designed to be disposable rather than reusable.
- They are difficult to recycle. Less than 5% of the 19 billion plastic bags used annually in California are actually recycled.
- They do not biodegrade.
- They are a significant hazard to marine animals and birds, which often mistake plastic bags for food.