On November 1, 2017, the Reusable Bag Law for Alameda County is expanding to include all eating establishments, which includes delivery services and ordering platforms. The requirements of the new law are as follows:
1. No more single-use plastic bags.
Beginning November 1, 2017, eating establishments (and their delivery services/providers) in Alameda County can no longer distribute single-use plastic bags.
2. Charge 10 cents for reusable bags.
Compliant reusable bags (including thick, reusable plastic bags) may be distributed if at least ten cents is charged and itemized on the receipt. The eating establishment keeps the 10 cent charge, which is not subject to sales tax.
3. No charge for paper bags.
Recycled content paper bags may be distributed for free. If your eating establishment only distributes compliant paper bags, no additional action is necessary.
4. Protective plastic bags without handles are allowed.
The law only applies to carryout bags, not to paper or plastic bags without handles that are used to protect food (such as around containers of soup or stew to prevent spilling).
Delivery Services / Ordering Platforms
We encourage delivery services to work with eateries to establish the type of bag that will be used (if any) and add any associated charges into their online ordering systems. The restaurant keeps the 10 cent charge for a durable, reusable plastic bag, which is not subject to tax but must be itemized on the receipt. Paper bags are except from any charges. Affected businesses that do not comply with the law are subject to fines.
Getting Ready for the New Law
- Start using up your existing supply of single-use bags before the ordinance takes effect on November 1, 2017.
- Order compliant bags to have them in place by November 1. View the bag specifications and sources for compliant bags.
- Outreach materials will be mailed in September to help you inform customers of the new law.
- Eating establishments that fail to comply with any elements of the ordinance are subject to fines ranging from $100 to $1,000 depending on the nature and severity of the violation.
- If your eating establishment does not distribute bags, or you are only distributing compliant paper bags, no changes are needed.