The Reusable Bag Law for Alameda County includes all eating establishments, delivery services, and ordering platforms. The requirements of the law are as follows:
1. No more single-use plastic bags.
Eating establishments (and their delivery services/providers) in Alameda County are prohibited from distributing single-use plastic bags.
2. 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.
3. 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).
4. 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.
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 exempt from any charges. Affected businesses that do not comply with the law are subject to fines.
Keep in Mind:
- If your eating establishment does not distribute bags, or you are only distributing compliant paper bags, no changes are needed.
- Reusable plastic bags need to be compliant with the law. View the bag specifications and sources for compliant bags.
- 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.