- For Retailers
- For Restaurants
- For Shoppers
Yes, however the ordinance allows stores to decide how they handle customers participating in WIC and CalFresh/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) programs. The ordinance does not require a Store to impose a bag charge to those participating in SNAP and WIC, nor does it mandate a Store to give out free reusable or free recycled paper bags. Per SNAP and WIC program regulations (NOT the Authority’s Ordinance 2012-2 regulations), if a Store charges fees for bags, SNAP and WIC funds cannot be used to pay those fees.
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:
Retail: Yes. Customers may bring any type of bag (including single-use plastic bags) to a store for their purchases, and are encouraged to do so. Customers are only charged for bags provided by the store at check-out.
Eating Establishments: Yes, if the bags remain in the customer’s possession (and bags do not enter food preparation or utensils/food storage areas).
The differences between the two include the following:
Alameda County affected stores must comply with the requirements of the Alameda County Reusable Bag Ordinance, as the state law does not preempt or take precedence over city or county ordinances adopted prior to September 1, 2014.
Since it began in January, 2013, the reusable bag ordinance has had dramatic results. In Alameda County, overall bag purchases by affected retail stores have declined by 85 percent. The number of shoppers bringing a reusable bag to affected stores, or not using a bag at all, has more than doubled during this time.
The Reusable Bag Law now affects all retail stores in Alameda County. Bring your own bag to all your favorite retail shops and eating establishments!