Retailer Requirements

What Stores are Affected?

Since 2013:

Starting May 1, 2017:

  • All retail stores that sell perishable or nonperishable goods including, but not limited to, clothing, food, and personal items.

Section 3(r) of the 2016 Ordinance contains the definition of a "Store" as covered under this law.



  • Stop providing single use carryout bags
  • Stock compliant reusable and paper bags at checkout
  • Charge a minimum of 10 cents for compliant bags
  • Itemize 10 cent charge on receipts


Notes on Bag Sales:

  • Bags sold to customers must meet the specifications in the ordinance (see Bag Specifications page).
  • All proceeds from the sale of recycled paper bags and reusable bags are retained by the retailer without any restrictions on their use.

Bags at No Cost:

  • The ordinance allows stores to decide on how they handle customers participating in WIC and CalFresh/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) programs. The ordinance:
    • Does not require the store to give out free reusable or free recycled paper bags.
    • Does not mandate stores to charge the fee to those participating in SNAP and WIC.
  • The ordinance language allows stores to make their own decision between providing recycled content paper bag(s) or reusable bag(s).
  • 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 can not be used to pay those fees. 
  • Protective Bags made of paper or plastic that do not have handles are allowed if they are used to:
    • Transport produce from produce department, bulk food from bulk food area, meat from meat department, or medication from pharmacy to checkout, OR
    • Separate food or merchandise that could damage or contaminate other food or merchandise when placed together in a single bag.
      (see Ordinance Section 3(m) for additional details on exempt "Produce/Product Bags".