The Reusable Bag Ordinance regulates single-use carryout bags at certain retail stores throughout
Starting January 1, 2013, reusable bags or bags made of recycled content paper may be provided,
but only if the store charges a minimum price of 10 cents per bag. The ordinance does not regulate
use of single-use bags used to protect and transport produce, bulk food or meat from within a store
to the checkout or cash register.
Consumers may bring any type of bag to a store for their purchases, and are encouraged to do so!
Grocery stores, supermarkets, foodmarts, convenience stores, liquor stores, pharmacies, drug
stores or other entities that sell milk, bread, soda and snack foods and/or alcohol in Alameda County are affected.
Restaurants and take-out food establishments are not affected by the ordinance.
As of January 1, 2013 stores will no longer be able to distribute single-use plastic carryout bags. If a
store makes reusable and/or recycled content paper bags available, the store is required to charge
a minimum of 10 cents per bag and individually itemize the charge on the customers’ receipt.
The ordinance includes the stores that traditionally distribute a high volume of single-use bags.
The Alameda County Waste Management Authority will enforce the ordinance. The Authority is actively reaching out to local businesses to make sure they are aware of the new law. We will give stores ample time to make the necessary changes in bag distribution practices. After January 1, 2013, stores that do not comply with the ordinance could be fined.
Additional resources will be provided to stores to educate their customers about the ordinance in the Fall of 2012. Information for consumers and retailers is available now at www.ReusableBagsAC.org or by calling the Reusable Bag Ordinance Information line at 510-891-6575.