Are all bags provided by stores subject to a charge?

No. 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.  Other bags not subject to charge include:

  • bags without handles provided for carry out-out of hot/prepared food (e.g. spill protection from hot soup or liquid items) for consumption at or away from the store
  • bags without handles provided to the customer to hold prescription medication dispensed from the pharmacy
  • bags without handles used to segregate food that could damage or contaminate other contents of a carry-out bag.

A protective bag can also be put on an item at check-out to ensure the safety of the item (ex. wine bottle sleeve) or change out the packaging for reuse (ex. berries from the baskets to paper bags).

The law does not require eating establishments to charge for paper bags at point of sale.