Starting Oct. 1, a City ordinance requiring a 5 cent fee for each carryout bag provided by a store goes into effect. Enforcement had paused temporarily when the pandemic began.
Carryout bags include any plastic, compostable, paper and reusable bags provided by the store.
Shoppers should bring their own bags
Shoppers can avoid paying the fee by bringing their own bags with them to the store. This fee is only charged when a store provides a new bag to a customer at checkout. Customers are welcome to reuse any bags they already have.
When shoppers bring their own bags, they:
- Help prevent plastic and other litter from landing in tree branches, public spaces, storm drains and water bodies.
- Reduce the need to harvest new raw materials including trees and petroleum.
- Reduce clogs in recycling machinery.
The ordinance requires retail establishments to charge the customer at least 5 cents for each carryout bag. Retailers are not required to give discounts to customers for bringing their own bags.
Exemptions from the fee include:
- Vendors at farmers markets and other temporary events.
- Restaurants or other businesses (such as salons or dry cleaners) where retail sales are clearly a secondary activity.
- Produce bags or other bags used for bulk items, meats, baked goods, flowers, prescriptions, liquor sleeves, etc.
- Secondhand bags.
- Customers participating in a federal or state food assistance program.