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Plastic Bag Bans

Plastic bag ordinances come in the form of plastic bag bans, bag fees, or both. Each type of regulation uses different methods to achieve the same goal: reduction of single use bags and their wasteful impacts.

Plastic Bag Bans

A straightforward bag ban regulates types of bags that can be distributed at retail outlets. Generally they prohibit thin plastic film bags such as the T-Shirt bag or Thank You Bag.  These regulations restrict single use bag options to encourage stores and consumers to invest in and reuse bags that will last for many uses.

One feature common to all bag bans is the regulation of materials that allowable in a reusable bag.  Most bans allow bags of cloth and all washable fabrics, such as NWPP, nylon and other man-made fabrics. Even though bans typically try to reduce thin plastic film bags, they often allow bags of thicker plastic.  Many places, like Los Angeles, ban bags made of plastic film thinner than 2.5 mils, and some cities, like Austin, require plastic film bags to be at least 4 mils thick.

Most bag bans also regulate handles, capacity, and uses for bags in a variety of ways.  Some bag bans are simple, with a few short definitions, and others, are highly complex running to many pages of detailed requirements.  The more detailed the regulations, the more complex and expensive enforcement becomes for the local government.

Bag bans often apply to limited sectors in a city, generally grocery and pharmacies. In California, there is increased movement to include convenience stores and liquor stores as well. A few bag bans, such as the one in Austin, Texas, apply to all retail establishments in a city.

While each bag ban reflects the concerns of each locality where it is implemented, they all attempt to reduce single use bags by restricting the options for bags offered to consumers.  If you are in an area with a bag ban, let us help you comply.  Just Contact Us and let us know where your bag ban is. We’ll be happy to research your specific ban regulations and ensure compliance.