General

What about public eating establishment located within a retail establishment?

In this case, a café within a department store, or a delicatessen within a grocery store must follow ordinance requirements for public eating establishments when registers are designated only for the sale of prepared food (as a stand-alone restaurant would). If customer purchases merchandise item along with prepared food, the entire purchase is subject to the ordinance requirement for retailers including a minimum ten-cent charge for paper or reusable bags.

Does everyone have to pay the bag charge?

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.

Can customers bring their own plastic, paper and/or reusable bags?

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).

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