Compliant Bag Specifications

Reusable Bags


The reusable bags that your store or eating establishment offers for sale at checkout must have handles and be designed and manufactured to:

  • Have a minimum lifetime of 125 uses, which means capable of carrying a minimum of 22 pounds 125 times over a distance of at least 175 feet
  • Hold a minimum volume of 15 liters
  • Be machine washable or made from a material that can be cleaned or disinfected
  • Be at least 2.25 mils thick, if made of plastic
  • Have printed on the bag or on a permanent tag all of the following:
    • Name of the manufacturer
    • Country of manufacture
    • A true statement that the bag does not contain lead, cadmium or other heavy metal in toxic amounts
    • Percent of post-consumer recycled material used in the bag, if any


Sources for Compliant Reusable Plastic Bags


Recycled Content Paper Bags


The requirements for compliant paper bags are as follows:

  • Paper bags must contain no old growth fibers
  • Bags must be a minimum of 40 percent post-consumer recycled content paper
  • Bags must be 100 percent recyclable and compostable, including the handles
  • Bags must have all the following information printed in a highly visible manner on the outside of the bag (bottom is okay):
    • The word “recyclable” 
    • Name and country of the manufacturer
    • The percentage of post-consumer recycled content paper



Testing Reusable Bags

  • If you are a bag distributor or manufacturer and wish to test and certify that your reusable bag meets Ordinance 2016-2 standards, please refer to these Testing Protocols (PDF).
  • If you are a bag vendor with a reusable bag tested for compliance with Ordinance 2016-02 and would like to be added to the list of complaint reusable bags, send an email to