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Breaking It Down: A Guide to Bag Bans

A plastic bag can take hundreds of years to break down in the environment.  Sometimes, a bag law can seem just as impossible to break down and understand.

Even though every bag ban is slightly different, they all use the same terms to discuss bags.  Some of the terms are technical, familiar only to engineers, and some of them are more familiar.  In this guide, I’ll look at the terms of bag bans one by one and explain them in plain English, and address some of the major laws each on their own.

The terms are all taken from two bans in California: 1) the LA County Ban, the largest bag ban implemented in the US, adopted in 2010 and covering over 10 million people, and 2) the California State bag ban, which is on the state ballot for November 2016. If it passes, it would cover 38.8 million state residents and be the most comprehensive bag ban in the US.  Together, these two bills set out the standards for most other bans around the country.

In May 2016, New York City passed a bag fee law which will impose a fee on minimum fee of five cents for plastic or paper bags at retail, convenience, and grocery stores, with limited exception, beginning Oct. 1, 2016.  This bill is likely to set the terms for bag fee laws, so we’ll cover that too.

So, no matter where you are, if you are under a US bag law, the information you need to know is right here.  And we get it if you don’t want to figure it out yourself.  So just contact us and let us know you need to comply with a bag law.  We’ll make sure you get great reusable shopping bags that are legal and affordable.