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USA

USA

• On April 22nd, 2009, the “Plastic Bag Reduction Act of 2009” was introduced in the U.S. Congress. This act would place a $0.05 (five cents) fee on “single use” bags from grocery stores and other retail outlets. If passed, the fee would be charged starting January 1, 2010. The act goes on to increase the fee in 2015 to $0.25 (twenty-five cents). Some of the money from the fee would go to the Land and Water Conservation Fund, some to state and local programs and some to reduce national debt. House Resolution 1298, titled “Encouraging efforts to reduce the use of paper and plastic bags,” was introduced in the 111th Congress on April 22nd, 2010. The resolution was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce where it was staid.  [added 05-23-11]

Alaska

  Alaska

  • In 2009, Senate Bill 22 was introduced to the Alaskan Legislature. This bill would charge a fifteen (15) cent fee for disposable plastic bags given out by retailers. The fee would fund the "Alaska litter and marine debris reduction and recycling fund". This bill was referred to the Resources and Finance Committees as of January 21, 2009. The bill remained in this committee at session adjournment. [updated 11-25-09]

Alaska Communities

  Alaska Communities

  In Western Alaska, at least 30 villages/communities have banned plastic bags since 1998. The ban was in response to plastic bag litter from dumps and ill-effects on Alaskan wildlife including salmon and seals.

Fairbanks

  Fairbanks, AK

  On September 10th, 2009 the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly voted to enact a five cent tax upon each plastic bag given out by all retail sellers in the community of Fairbanks. One month later, in October 2009 the tax was repealed by the Assembly. The tax would have been effective January 1, 2010 and as written the retail sellers would have been allowed to keep three percent of the total amount collected while the rest of the money would have gone to a local recycling program special revenue fund. The ordinance cited that some municipalities have estimated a collection and disposal cost of 17 cents per plastic bag. [updated 05-17-10]

American Samoa

  American Samoa

  • On February 23, 2011 a law went into effect; banning wholesale and retail establishments from directly or indirectly providing customers with plastic shopping bags in the Territory of American Samoa. Biodegradable and compostable plastic bags are exempted as are bags used for certain products including raw meats, fresh produce and prepared meals in takeout containers.  [added 05-23-11]

Arizona

  Arizona

  • In 2008, bills were introduced to the Arizona state government for review that proposed to place a surcharge on plastic and paper bags and asking retailers to offer recycling collection of the bags. These bills did not pass during the 2008 legislative session.  [added 01-23-09]

Bisbee

  Bisbee, AZ

  In December 2011, the Bisbee City Council unanimously approved an ordinance aimed at reducing the use of single-use bags. For the first six months, there was a voluntary effort to increase the amount of single-use bags that were reused and recycled as well as to increase the use of reusable bags. After six months, the City Manager reported back to the Mayor and the City Council regarding the voluntary program. At that time, the Council approved a continuation of the voluntary program into January 2013 when the Council will review the program efficacy again.  [added 07-24-12]

Phoenix

  Phoenix, AZ

  In Phoenix, the city and the Arizona Food Marketing Alliance worked together with stores to create Bag Central Station. This program is a voluntary program in which stores encourage reusable bags and must accept plastic bags for recycling.

Tempe

  Tempe, AZ

  In Tempe, the Bag Central Station program has been expanded from its start in Phoenix. The program started in Tempe in 2008 and is a voluntary program in which stores encourage reusable bags and must accept plastic bags for recycling.  [added 01-23-09]

Tucson

  Tucson, AZ

  In Tucson, the Bag Central Station program was codified in March 2009.  The city council adopted a new city code requiring retail establishments of over 10,000 square feet to provide recycling bins for plastic bags.  [added 08-03-09]

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California

  California

  • In 2006, the State of California passed a law, effective July 1, 2007,  mandating that all retail establishments of a certain size or larger label their bags for return to the store for recycling, have recycling bins available to customers and to provide reusable bags for customers to purchase.  [added 01-23-09]

• In 2009, Assembly Bill 1141 was introduced to California legislature. The bill would require that all plastic carryout bags contain a specified percentage of recycled plastic. Plastic bag producers would be charged a producer’s responsibility fee of $0.001 per bag. The bill was held without recommendation by the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources (4/27/2009).

• In 2009, Senate Bill 228 was introduced to California legislature. The bill would require all marine degradable or compostable plastic bags to be readily distinguishable from non-biodegradable plastic bags. The bill remains in the Senate Appropriations Committee (5/28/2009).

• In February 2009, Senate Bill 531 was introduced to California legislature. Initially, the bill would have required suppliers of paper or plastic single use carryout bags to pay a fee of $0.001 per bag to the State Board of Equalization. Monies generated would fund grants for litter reduction education. The bill was amended in April 2009 to only add details to existing plastic bag manufacturer obligations regarding recycling education. The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources on June 15th, 2009.  [added 08-03-09]

• Assembly Bill 1998 sought to reduce plastic litter pollution and increase reusable bag use by banning plastic bags at grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores and other similar stores. This bill failed to pass in August 2010.  [added 09-03-10]

Alameda County

  Alameda County, CA

  On January 24, 2012 the Alameda County Waste Management Authority adopted an ordinance that ban plastic carryout bags and institutes a minimum 10cent charge for paper and reusable bags. The ban applies to supermarkets, pharmacies and retailers that sell food. The ban will be effective January 1, 2013 and applies to all the unincorporated areas of the county as well as 14 incorporated cities: Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Dublin, Emeryville, Fremont, Hayward, Livermore, Newark, Oakland, Piedmont, Pleasanton, San Leandro and Union City.  [added 10-09-12]
Calabasas

  Calabasas, CA

  In February 2011, the City Council of Calabasas adopted an ordinance banning plastic carryout bags at drug stores, pharmacies, supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience food stores, food marts and any other entity that sells milk, bread, soda and snack foods. Produce and product bags are exempted from the ban and stores must provide paper or reusable bags to consumers. Any store that provides paper bags must charge 10cent per bag.  [added 10-09-12]

Carmel-by-the-Sea

  Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

  The City Council of Carmel-by-the-Sea approved, in July 2012, an ordinance that ban single-use plastic carryout bags from all retail establishments within the city limits. The ordinance will become mandatory on February 3, 2013.  [added 10-09-12]

Carpinteria

  Carpinteria, CA

  The City Council of Carpinteria voted and approved, on March 12, 2012, an ordinance that bans both plastic carryout bags and paper carryout bags. The ban applies to large commercial establishments (greater than $5,000,000 in annual gross retail sales volume and/or grocery stores) on July 11, 2012 and to small commercial establishments on April 11, 2013.  [added 10-09-12]

DanaPoint

  Dana Point, CA

  The City Council of Dana Point voted in March 2012 to pass an ordinance prohibiting retailers from providing plastic carryout bags to customers at the point of sale. The ordinance will be effective April 1, 2013 for businesses that generate over $4million in annual sales and will be effective October 1, 2013 for all other businesses. Restaurants are exempted from the ordinance.  [added 07-24-12]

Fairfax

  Fairfax, CA

  The City Council of Fairfax, California, passed a ban on plastic bags in 2007 only to withdraw the ban because of a threatened lawsuit regarding the environmental benefit of such a ban. Subsequently, the Council asked stores to voluntarily stop giving out plastic bags. In response, citizens of Fairfax made the issue a ballot initiative. In November 2008, voters passed the initiative.  [added 01-23-09]

FortBragg

  Fort Bragg, CA

  The City Council of Fort Bragg voted on May 14, 2012 to adopt a ban on single-use carryout bags made of paper, plastic or other material that stores provide to customers at checkout. Stores may provide recycled-content paper bags or reusable carryout bags for a fee of 10cents or more per bag. The ban will be effective in December 2012 for larger stores, as defined in the ordinance, and after a year, will be expanded to all stores.  [added 07-24-12]

Laguna Beach

  Laguna Beach, CA

  On February 28th, 2012 the City Council of Laguna Beach approved an ordinance banning retail establishments from providing single-use, plastic carryout bags. Stores may provide recycled paper bags for a minimum charge of 10cent. The ordinance is effective January 1, 2013.  [added 10-09-12]

Long Beach

  Long Beach, CA

  The City Council of Long Beach, California passed an ordinance in May 2011 banning single-use plastic bags at major retailers within the city limits. The ban will become effective August 1, 2011 and only applies to stores and pharmacies with more than 10,000 square feet or with gross annual sales of $2 million. Beginning in January 2012, the ban will apply to smaller stores.  [added 05-23-11]

Los Angeles

  Los Angeles, CA

  In May 2012, the City Council of Los Angeles voted to use a phased approach to ban stores in the city from providing plastic carryout bags to customers. First, there will be a four month environmental review of the ban which will be followed by the passage of an ordinance to actually require that retailers no longer provide plastic carryout bags. The larger stores in the city will then have six months to phase out the bags while smaller locations will have twelve months. Paper bags may be provided but retailers must charge 10 cents per bag beginning one year after the ban begins.  [added 07-24-12]

Los Angeles County

  Los Angeles County, CA

  In November 2010, the LA County Supervisors voted to enact an ordinance to ban plastic bags in the areas of the county under the Board of Supervisors’ jurisdiction. The ban will be instituted in phases, with the first phase beginning in July 2011 when large supermarkets and pharmacies must stop providing disposable plastic bags. The ordinance also enacts a $0.10 (ten cent) fee per paper bag.  [updated 01-21-11]

Malibu

  Malibu, CA

  In May 2008 the Malibu City Council approved a ban on all non-reusable plastic bags excluding produce bags. The ban went into effect in November 2008.

Manhattan Beach

  Manhattan Beach, CA

  In July 2008, the City Council of Manhattan Beach passed a ban on all plastic bags used for carrying purchased goods. Currently, the ban is on hold due to a lawsuit. One clause of the suit states that the city did not perform an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and the second states that the city does not have the power to ban plastic bags.  [added 01-23-09]

Manhattan Beach

  Marin County, CA

  On January 25, 2011 Marin County California passed an ordinance barring retailers in the unincorporated areas of the county from distributing plastic carryout bags and to charge customers a minimum of 5cents for paper carry out bags. On February 24, 2011 the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition sued the county in the Superior Court of California.  [added 05-23-11]

Mendocino County

  Mendocino County, CA

  In June 2012, the County Board of Supervisors for Mendocino County approved an ordinance that bans plastic carryout bags and establishes a 10cent charge on paper bags. The ordinance is effective for large stores (gross annual sales of three million dollars) in January 2013 and for all other retailers in January 2014.  [added 10-09-12]

Millbrae

  Millbrae, CA

  The Millbrae City Council adopted an ordinance in February 2012 that established a 10cent fee requirement on paper bags and a ban on plastic carryout bags. The ban went into effect on September 1, 2012. All retail establishments are covered in the ordinance except restaurants, non-profit organizations and dry-cleaners.  [added 10-09-12]

Monterey

  Monterey, CA

  In December 2011, the City Council of Monterey passed an ordinance that banned plastic bags and establishes a rising fee scale for paper bags. Starting in May 2012, stores must charge 10cent per paper bag and beginning in December 2012, stores must charge 25cents per paper bag. The ban on plastic bags went into effect in May 2012.  [added 10-09-12]

Oakland

  Oakland, CA

  In June 2007, the city of Oakland passed an ordinance banning non-biodegradable plastic take-away bags. This ban applied only to retail establishments that gross $1 million in annual sales. The ordinance allows paper bags provided that they meet recycled content requirements. The ordinance has been rescinded after a lawsuit against the city was upheld in April 2008. The suit cites that the city had not performed adequate environmental study regarding the possible adverse effects of a ban.  [added 01-23-09]

Ojai

  Ojai, CA

  The City Council in Ojai, California voted on April 10, 2012 to approve a ban on single-use plastic bags provided at checkout and create a 10cent fee on all paper bags. As of July 1, 2012, all retailers within the city can no longer provide plastic or bio-based plastic bags to customers at checkout. The fee on paper bags only applies to grocery stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, liquor stores and mini-marts associated with gas stations.  [added 07-24-12]

Palo Alto

  Palo Alto, CA

  On March 16, 2009, Palo Alto City Council voted to ban plastic bags. The ban is slated to take effect September 18th, 2009.  [added 07-24-09]

Pasadena

  Pasadena, CA

  In November 2011 the city of Pasadena passed an ordinance banning stores and farmer’s markets from providing plastic carryout bags to customers. Recyclable paper carryout bags and reusable bags can be provided or made available to customers but stores must charge 10cent per paper bag. The ban went into effect for farmer’s markets and stores with either two million dollars in gross annual sales or at least 10,000sqft on July 1, 2012. The ban goes into effect on December 31, 2012 for all other stores that sell milk, bread, soda and snack food but do not meet the other requirements.  [added 07-24-12]

San Francisco

  San Francisco, CA

  The city of San Francisco passed an ordinance in April 2007 requiring retail stores (pharmacies and supermarkets) that gross annual sales of $2 million to provide paper bags, compostable bags and/or reusable bags.

San Jose

  San Jose, CA

  In December 2010, the San Jose City Council approved a plastic bag ban, effective January 1, 2012. The ban applies to all retailers except restaurants and nonprofit secondhand stores as well as for bags that hold fruit, vegetables or raw meat.  [added 1-21-11]

San Luis Obispo County

  San Luis Obispo County, CA

  In January 2012, the San Luis Obispo County Integrated Waste Management Authority adopted an ordinance that ban plastic bags and sets a minimum 10cent fee for paper bags. The ban is effective October 1, 2012 and applies to all the unincorporated areas of the county as well as seven incorporated cities: Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Grover Beach, Morro Bay, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach and San Luis Obispo.  [added 10-09-12]

Santa Clara County

  Santa Clara County, CA

  In April 2011, the Santa Clara County supervisors passed a ban on plastic bags effective January 1, 2012. This ban affects the unincorporated areas of the county and requires retailers to not only cease giving out plastic bags but also to charge at least 15cents for paper bags. Newspaper and restaurant bags are exempted as are non-profit and social organizations that hand out plastic bags.  [added 05-23-11]

Santa Cruz

  Santa Cruz, CA

  In July 2012, the City Council of Santa Cruz approved an ordinance banning plastic carryout bags and creating a 10cent fee for paper bags. The ordinance will be effective in April 2013. The ban prevents retail establishments from providing plastic carryout bags to customers and prevents any City of Santa Cruz contractor, special event promoter or vendor from providing plastic carryout bags to customers at the point of sale.  [added 10-09-12]

Santa Cruz County

  Santa Cruz County, CA

  The Board of Supervisors for Santa Cruz County passed an ordinance on September 13th, 2011 that banned the distribution of plastic carryout bags at retail establishments and established a minimum of 40% post-consumer recycled content for paper bags. There is also a10cent charge on those paper bags that will after a one year period, be raised to 25cents. The ordinance went into effect in March 2012.  [added 10-09-12]

Santa Monica

  Santa Monica, CA

  In January 2011, the Santa Monica City Council approved an ordinance that banned all retail establishments from providing single-use plastic carryout bags to customers at the point of sale. Paper bags made from at least 40% post-consumer recycled content are permitted to be provided to customers for at least a 10cent fee. All revenue from the fee remains at the store. Produce bags and takeout food bags are exempted from the ban. The ban is in effect as of September 1, 2011.  [added 03-07-12]

Solana Beach

  Solana Beach, CA

  In August 2008, the city of Solana Beach began a voluntary recycling program for plastic bags. The program utilizes three collection bins in public buildings and sends the clean plastic bags directly to Trex Co. Inc. Trex makes deck boards and fencing from wood and recycled plastic fibers. Previously, in December 2007, the city enacted a law prohibiting plastic bags used for advertising that is thrown onto driveways and yards or hung on doorknobs.   [added 01-23-09]

Sunnyvale

  Sunnyvale, CA

  In December 2011, the Sunnyvale City Council approved an ordinance that would ban the use of single-use carryout bags at supermarkets and other large retailers that have store space of greater than 10,000 square feet. The ordinance will be implemented on June 20, 2012 and will expand to all retailers by March 2013. Restaurants and charitable/non-profit organizations are exempted from the ban. The ordinance also includes a 10 cent mandatory charge for recycled-content paper bags for those customers who do not use a reusable bag. Individuals who participate in the California Special Supplemental Nutritional Program for Women, Infants and Children or who use food stamps are exempted from the paper bag fee. The fee for paper bags is set to increase to 25 cents in 2014.  [added 03-07-12]

Ukiah

  Ukiah, CA

  The Ukiah City Council passed an ordinance in May 2012 which banned the distribution of plastic carryout bags and enacted a 10cent fee on paper bags which must have a minimum of 40% post-consumer recycled content. The ordinance applies to all retail stores beginning with large stores (gross annual sales of three million dollars or more or a store with over 10,000 square feet of retail space) in November 2012. Smaller stores must comply by November 2013.  [added 10-09-12]

Watsonville

  Watsonville, CA

  In April 2012, the City Council of Watsonville approved an ordinance prohibiting retailers from providing single-use plastic bags for carryout of purchased items. Additionally, for the first year of the ordinance, retailers must charge 10cents per paper bag provided and 25cents thereafter. The ordinance is effective in September 2012.  [added 07-24-12]

West Hollywood

  West Hollywood, CA

  In August 2012, the City Council of West Hollywood voted to adopt an ordinance that prohibits stores including pharmacies, grocery and retail stores, from distributing plastic carryout bags. Stores may continue to provide paper bags if those bags are made with at least 40% post-consumer recycled content and a fee of 10cents per paper bag is charged. Any customer that qualifies for subsidized groceries is exempted from paying the fee.  [added 10-09-12]

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Colorado

  Colorado

  • In 2009, Senate Bill 156 was introduced to the Colorado General Assembly. This bill would ban retail stores of a certain size from providing free plastic bags. The bill would also charge a fee of six cents per plastic bag of which the store would keep half the money and the state would receive the other half for use in plastic bag use reduction education.
February 24, 2009, Senate Second Reading Lost with Amendments.  [added 05-05-09]

Aspen, CO

  Aspen, CO

  In October 2011, the Aspen City Council voted to ban plastic bag distribution at grocery stores and place a 20 cent fee on paper bags. Grocery stores affected by the ban will be able to keep a small portion of the proceeds from the paper bag fees in order to offset the costs of implementing the ban.  [added 03-07-12]

Basalt, CO

  Basalt, CO

  In September 2011, the City Council of Basalt, Colorado voted to enact a 20cent fee on all paper and plastic checkout bags. Shortly thereafter, a petition drive caused the council to revoke the initial ordinance. A new ordinance banning plastic bags and placing the 20cent fee on paper bags only was created. In addition, the new ordinance was placed on the ballot for public vote for the April 2012 election. In April 2012, the voting public of Basalt voted down the new ordinance meaning that there will be no ban or fee placed on checkout bags.  [added 07-24-12]

Carbondale, CO

  Carbondale, CO

  The Town Trustees of Carbondale, Colorado voted in October 2011 to ban plastic shopping bags. Citizens of the town petitioned in order to have the ban put on the April 2012 ballot. In April 2012, the voting public upheld the new ordinance. The ordinance, which goes into effect in May 2012, only bans plastic bags provided at grocery stores larger than 3,500 square feet and creates a 20cent fee on paper bags.  [added 07-24-12]

Connecticut

  Connecticut

  • In 2009, House Bill 5466 was introduced to the Connecticut General Assembly.  The bill would require all retailers that give out plastic shopping bags to also accept the bags back and have those bags recycled.

• In 2009, House Bill 5273 was introduced to the Connecticut General Assembly.  The bill would ban all retailers from using non-biodegradable bags starting January 1, 2011.

• In 2009, House Bill 5207 was introduced to the Connecticut General Assembly.  The bill would require a tax to be paid on all paper and plastic bags. The purpose of this bill is to help reduce waste, litter, dependence on foreign oil and to help foster sustainability and environmental responsibility.

• In 2009, House Bill 5107 was introduced to the Connecticut General Assembly.  The bill would require retail stores to charge a tax of five cents per plastic bag. Money from this tax would be used for the renewable energy fund.

• In 2009, House Bill 5479 was introduced to the Connecticut General Assembly.  The bill would also require a five cent fee per plastic bag. This is intended to encourage the use of reusable bags and to reduce plastic waste.

• In 2009, House Bill 5492 was introduced to the Connecticut General Assembly.  The bill would require the recycling of plastic shopping bags and charge a fee on each plastic or paper shopping bag.

• In 2009, House Bill 6314 was introduced to the Connecticut General Assembly.  The bill would require a five cent fee per bag given out at grocery stores.  This is intended to reduce the amount of plastic waste that enters landfills. [added 02-25-09]

• In January 2009, House Bill 5005 was introduced to the Connecticut General Assembly.  If enacted, this bill would prohibit retail establishments from providing plastic bags for purchased goods at the point of sale.  This bill was referred to the Joint Committee on Environment and stayed there until adjournment of the Assembly.

• In January 2009, House Bill 5215 was introduced to the Connecticut General Assembly.  The bill would require a five cent fee per bag given out at grocery stores.  Monies generated from the tax would be transferred to the Department of Environmental Protection.  It remains “Tabled for the Calendar” in the Committee on Finance, Revenue, and Bonding (May, 2009).  [added 08-03-09]

Westport

  Westport, CT

  In 2008, Westport Connecticut passed a ban on most plastic shopping bags beginning in 2009. Bags used for produce are exempted.

Delaware

  Delaware

  • In March 2009, the Delaware House of Representatives passed House Bill 15, requiring stores exceeding 7,000 square feet to establish an at-store recycling program for plastic bags.  The governor signed the bill into law on 8/17/09.  [added 08-25-09]

District of Columbia

  District of Columbia (Washington, DC)

  • Washington, DC – In 2009, the “Anacostia River Clean Up and Protection Act of 2009,” was introduced to the Council of the District of Columbia.  This act would ban the use of disposable, non-recyclable plastic retail bags as well as establish a five cent fee for all other disposable bags, including but not limited to paper and plastic retail bags.  If passed, part of the money would be placed in the Anacostia River Cleanup and Protection Fund.  On June 2, 2009, the City Council of Washington D.C. voted unanimously to create a 5-cent tax on both paper and plastic bags in order to promote the use of reusable shopping bags.  One cent per bag would stay with the business which sold the bag and four cents would go to fund a cleanup of the Anacostia River.  In order to become law the bill was again voted upon in late June when the D.C. Council unanimously voted to pass the bill.  The Mayor of D.C. signed the bill on July 7, 2009.  The fee will go into effect on January 1, 2010.  [edited 09-30-09]

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Florida

  Florida

  • The Energy, Climate Change, and Economic Security Act of 2008 (House Bill 7135) signed into law by former Governor Crist created Section 403.7033, Florida Statutes. This section requires the DEP to perform an analysis and submit a report to the Legislature by February 1, 2010 regarding the necessity and efficacy of both statewide and local regulation of bags used by consumers to carry products from retail establishments.  Until such time that the Legislature adopts the recommendations of DEP, no local or state government may enact any regulation or tax on the use of such retail bags.  [added 08-04-09]

Hawaii

  Hawaii

  • In 2009, House Bill 1357 (same as Senate Bill 1292) was introduced to the Hawaii legislature proposing a ban on all non-biodegradable/compostable plastic bags and require retailers to provide either recyclable paper bags, compostable plastic bags or reusable bags. If enacted this ban would apply only to stores that gross at least $250,000 in revenue annually. This bill remained in the House Energy and Environment Committee at Legislative adjournment.

• In January 2009, House Concurrent Resolution 43 was offered to the Hawaii House of Representatives. This resolution requires the Hawaii Food Industry Association to form a working group with a representative from each County, the Department of Health, producers of polystyrene and plastic bags made in Hawaii, affected trade organizations and environmental organization. The working group would establish minimum statewide standards for biodegradability of plastic grocery bags and food containers. This resolution remained in the Senate Committee on Health at Legislative adjournment.

• In February 2009, House Concurrent Resolution 61 was offered to the Hawaii House of Representatives. House Concurrent Resolution 61 (same as House Resolution 49) urges Honolulu and Kauai Counties to reduce the use, sale, and environmental degradation caused by non-compostable plastic bags. This resolution remained in the House Energy and Environment Committee at Legislative adjournment.

• In January 2009, Senate Bill 244 was introduced to the Hawaii Legislature. If enacted this bill would have required each retail establishment to provide the consumer with either a refund or a store credit if the consumer purchased goods or products and declined to use a plastic shopping bag that the retail establishment offers at no additional charge. In February, the Senate Committee on Energy and Environment deferred the measure.

• In January 2009, Senate Bill 245 was introduced to the Hawaii Legislature. This bill would have established a statewide at-store plastic carryout bag recycling program. The program would have been implemented at stores with over ten thousand square feet of retail space and a licensed pharmacy or a store with annual sales of $2,000,000 or more. This bill was deferred by the committee on Energy and Environment.

• In January 2009, Senate Bill 584 was introduced to the Hawaii Legislature. This bill would have prohibited retail stores and supermarkets from distributing plastic shopping bags. The bill was referred to the Energy and Environment committee where the measure was recommended to be passed with amendments. From the Energy and Environment committee, the measure was sent to the Judiciary and Government Operations committee where it remained at Legislative adjournment.

• In January 2009, Senate Bill 1163 was introduced to the Hawaii Legislature. This bill would have required distributors that sell and distribute plastic shopping bags to stores for the stores to give to consumers to pay a fee of $0.05 per bag. This fee would be payable to the Department of Health and would be remitted to the “keiki first steps trust fund.” This bill was referred to the Energy and Environment committee and the Human Services committee. Both committees deferred the measure in February.

• In January 2009, Senate Bill 1292 (same as House Bill 1357) was introduced to the Hawaii Legislature. This bill would have required all businesses that gross over $250,000 annually to cease distributing non-biodegradable plastic shopping bags and only distribute recyclable paper bags, compostable plastic bags or reusable bags. This bill was referred to the Energy and Environment committee and the Judiciary and Government Operations committee where the measure remained at Legislative adjournment.   [added 08-03-09]

Hawaii County

  Hawaii County, HI

  In August 2008, the Hawaii County Council voted to ban businesses from offering plastic checkout bags. The ban needed the signature of the mayor to go into effect but the mayor opposed the ban and vetoed it. The County Council then voted again in October 2008 but there were not enough votes to override the mayor’s veto.  [added 05-22-09]

Kauai County

  Kauai County, HI

  In October 2009, the Kauai County Council voted to ban plastic carryout bags.  Stores must now offer only biodegradable, 100%recyclable paper or reusable tote bags at checkout.  The stores are allowed to charge for the bags.  The ban will go into effect on January 11, 2011.   [added 11-02-09]

Maui County

  Maui County, HI

  In 2008, Maui County voted to ban plastic bags by 2011.

Paia

 Paia, HI

  In 2008, the town of Paia Maui became “plastic bag free” when all of the town traders agreed to cease handing out plastic takeaway bags.

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Illinois

  Illinois

  • House Bill 0334 was introduced in the Illinois legislature in January 2009. The bill was referred to the Rules Committee, then assigned to the Environmental Health Committee and then Re-referred to the Rules Committee in March 2009. If enacted, this bill would create the “Grocers’ Mandatory Plastic Bag Recycling Act,” which would require grocery stores to implement recycling programs for plastic bags. The bill remained in committee at session adjournment.   [updated 11-25-09]

Chicago

  Chicago, IL

  In May 2008, the City Council of Chicago enacted an ordinance requiring certain retail establishments to establish an in-store plastic bag recycling program. The program must include specific labeling on the bags, recycling bins available to customers for bag drop-off and provide reusable bags for customers to purchase.  [added 01-23-09]

Highland Park, IL

  Highland Park, IL

  In November 2011, the Highland Park City Council approved an ordinance that requires all businesses larger than 10,000 square feet to implement a collection and recycling program for plastic bags. The businesses must provide one or more recycling containers that are clearly marked near the entrance of the business. The ordinance went into effect January 1, 2012.  [added 03-07-12]

Lake County, IL

  Lake County, IL

  In August 2007, the Governor of Illinois signed the Plastic Bag Bill creating a pilot program in Lake County requiring retailers over a certain size that give out plastic bags to take the bags back for recycling.  [added 01-23-09]

Iowa

  Iowa

  • In January, 2010 a program began across Iowa to encourage grocery shoppers to recycle their plastic bags.  The program is called “Build with Bags” and involved a two week promotional period along with the installation of plastic bag recycling barrels near the front of participating stores.  This program is a cooperative initiative of the Iowa Grocery Industry Association, Keep Iowa Beautiful, Metro Waste Authority in Des Moines, Iowa Department of Natural Resources and The Des Moines Register.  The main goals of the program are to double the amount of bags recycled in the next two years, to reduced plastic bag consumption, increase reusable bags use and to encourage the purchase of items made from recycled plastic to be used in parks and schools.  [added 03-11-10]

Marshall County, IA

  Marshall County, IA

  On September 16, 2008, the Marshall County Board of Supervisors voted to require the use of compostable plastic, recyclable paper and/or reusable checkout bags by all retail stores in unincorporated areas of the county. This requirement went into effect on April 9th, 2009.  [added 04-09-09]

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Maine

  Maine

  • In 2009, Legislative Document 622 (equivalent to HP 436) was introduced to the Maine Legislature. This bill would require retailers with more than 30,000 square feet of retail sales area to provide a cloth or durable fabric bag to customers at least twice a year.  This bill went to committee and was unanimously voted "ought not to pass."  [added 04-02-09]

• In 2009, Legislative Document 367, An Act To Reduce the Amount of Plastic Introduced into the Waste Stream, was introduced. This bill would require retailers to charge $0.10 for each plastic bag given to a customer.  The money would be deposited into the Waste Reduction and Recycling Loan Fund.  This bill was revised to resolve that the Executive Department, State Planning Office should create a work group, through a partnership with state agencies and other appropriate entities to work to create an overall reduction of disposable checkout bag distribution and waste.  This resolution was signed by the governor on May 19, 2009. (Resolve Chapter 54)  [added 11-25-09]

• On November 9, 2009 a campaign encouraging the use of reusable bags to help reduce single use checkout bags by 33% by 2012 was launched. The campaign is called “Got Your Bags, Maine?” and is sponsored by a coalition of business leaders, grocery and retail associations, governmental organizations and environmental advocates.  [added 09-03-10]

Maryland

  Maryland

  • In 2009, House Bill 1210 was introduced to the Maryland Legislature. If enacted, this bill would have required stores to charge and collect a $0.05 fee for each carryout bag (paper or plastic) provided to a customer. Of this fee, $0.01 would be retained by the store if the store did not have a Customer Bag Credit Program or if the store did have such a program then the store could retain $0.02. The remaining amount would be remitted to the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays 2010 Trust Fund. The Customer Bag Credit Program is a voluntary program for stores in which the store would pay a customer at least $0.05 for each bag that as provided by the customer. This bill was read in the Environmental Matters Committee but was never moved out of committee. In February 2011, the “Clean the Streams and Beautify the Bay Act of 2011” was introduced to the Maryland Legislature. The bill went to the Environmental Matters and Economic Matters committee for a hearing but no further action was taken.  [updated 05-23-11]

Annapolis

  Annapolis, MD

  In 2007, Annapolis Maryland lawmakers proposed a plastic bag ban. The ban did not pass but an alternative plan passed involving an expanded recycling campaign, encouraging use reduction and free reusable bag giveaways.

Baltimore

  Baltimore, MD

  In 2008, two bills were introduced to the Baltimore City Council in order to regulate plastic bag use. Bill 08-0208 proposes levying a 25 cent tax per plastic bag distributed by any retail establishment. Monies collected from the tax would go into the general fund. Bill 08-0205 would prohibit all stores from distributing plastic bags. The next hearing date for both bills was 7/21/2009. Both bills are now in committee and are scheduled for a public hearing to the Judiciary and Legislative Investigations Committee on 1/5/2010. On March 22, 2010 an ordinance concerning plastic bag reduction passed the Baltimore City Council. This ordinance requires all stores that must have a food service license to register and maintain records with regards to the plastic bag reduction program, to provide a collection bin for the recycling of single-use plastic bags and to provide reusable bags for purchase by customers. Customers at these stores will not be given a single-use plastic bag unless it is specifically requested by the customer.   [updated 05-23-11]

Montgomery County

  Montgomery County, MD

  On May 3, 2011 the Montgomery County Council in Maryland approved a 5 cent charge on both paper and plastic bags provided by retailers to customers. The tax does not apply to newspaper bags, pharmacy bags, bags intended for garbage or other waste or for any perishable item. The retailers will be able to keep one cent of the tax to cover administration fees. The new tax will take effect on January 1, 2012.   [added 05-23-11]

Massachusetts

  Massachusetts

  • On March 12, 2009, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Massachusetts Food Association. The Massachusetts Food Association is an industry organization that represents more than 500 individual grocery stores. The MOU sets a goal to see a 33%reduction in the distribution of paper and plastic disposable grocery bags by 2013. This reduction is to be achieved via incentives to customers for reduction in bag demand and increased reusable bag usage, improved recycling of bags at stores and increased recycled content and/or use of biodegradable bags offered for distribution. This effort is voluntary for all stores that are members of the Massachusetts Food Association. In December 2011, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection announced that the MOU goal of a 33%reduction in the distribution of paper and plastic disposable grocery bags had been reached. The voluntary initiative included 12 supermarket chains which accounts for more than 66% of all grocery stores in the state.  [added 03-26-09 updated 3-7-12]

• In January 2009, House Bill 719, “An Act Relative to Plastic Bag Reduction,” was introduced to the Massachusetts Legislature. If enacted this bill would have required stores grossing more than $2,000,000 annually to provide only recyclable paper bags, compostable plastic bags or reusable bags to customer. This bill has been referred to the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. A public hearing was held on this bill on May 14, 2009.

• In January 2009, House Bill 798, “An Act relative to decreasing environmental hazards, toxins and litter,” was introduced to the Massachusetts legislature. This bill calls for the responsible reduction of plastic carryout bags by prohibiting any store with a gross income of more than $500,000 in the previous tax year from providing plastic carryout bags to consumers. This bill has been referred to the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. A public hearing was held on this bill on May 14, 2009.

• In January 2009, House Bill 2686, “An Act relative to an excise on plastic carryout bags in supermarkets,” was introduced to the Massachusetts legislature. This bill would excise $0.05, per plastic carryout bag provided to customers, from any supermarket with a gross income of more than $1,000,000 in the previous tax year. The funds excised would be credited to the General Fund. This bill has been referred to the Joint Committee on Revenue. A public hearing was held on this bill on April 12, 2009.

• In January 2009, Senate Bill 395, “An Act relative to the responsible reduction in the use of plastic bags,” was introduced to the Massachusetts legislature. This bill would prohibit any store located or doing business in Massachusetts from giving, providing or making available plastic carryout bags to consumers. This bill has been referred to the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. A public hearing was held on this bill on May 14, 2009.

• In January 2009, Senate Bill 1284, “An Act relative to the selection and use of plastic bags in certain stores,” was introduced to the Massachusetts legislature. This bill would require every store to pay to the commissioner an excise equal to $0.02 per plastic carryout bag provided to customers. This bill has been referred to the Joint Committee on Revenue. A public hearing was held on this bill on April 12, 2009.  [added 08-03-09]

Boston

  Boston, MA

  In late 2007, Boston, Massachusetts lawmakers proposed both a ban and a required collection and recycling plan. None of the proposals passed but most grocery stores accept plastic bags for recycling.

Plymouth

  Plymouth, MA

  The Board of Health in Plymouth Massachusetts reviewed a proposed ban on plastic bags in late 2008. The board ultimately decided not to pass the ban.  [added 05-22-09]

Sturbridge

  Sturbridge, MA

  In 2008, the Board of Selectmen, in Sturbridge Massachusetts, sponsored an article that, if passed, would create an ordinance banning stores within the city limits from dispensing plastic shopping bags. The article specified that the ban would only affect stores of 35,000 square feet or larger, which in Sturbridge, would be three stores. At a town meeting in April 2008, the article was voted down.  [added 05-22-09]

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Michigan

  Michigan

  • In December 2008, bill number SB 1611 was introduced in the Michigan legislation.  If enacted the bill would phase out the retail distribution of “noncompostable plastic carryout bags” by 2012.  This bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs on 11/6/2008.  The bill remained in committee at session adjournment.   [updated 11-25-09]

Minnesota

  Minnesota

  •  HF0041 was introduced to the Minnesota State Legislature in January 2009. If enacted, this bill would require in-store recycling programs for plastic carryout bags.  Additionally, manufacturers of plastic carryout bags would be required, if requested by store operators, to make arrangements for collection, transport, and recycling of all plastic carryout bags and other film plastic that is collected as part of the in-store recycling program.  This bill was referred to the Environment Policy and Oversight Committee where it stayed until legislative adjournment.

•  HF403 (companion SF0383) was introduced to the Minnesota State Legislature in January 2009.  If enacted, this bill would not only require that any bag or container used to deliver yard waste to a yard waste compost facility be compostable but also require specific labeling for all compostable, biodegradable, and degradable plastic bags, including those used in retail stores.  The bill was referred to a number of committees and ended up in the Environment and Natural Resources Finance Division Committee at legislative adjournment.

•  HF576 (companion SF267) was introduced to the Minnesota State Legislature in January 2009.  If enacted this bill would have required in-store recycling programs for all plastic carryout bags and have required labeling of plastic carryout bags to say “Please Reuse or Recycle at a Participating Store.”  This bill was referred to the Environment Policy and Oversight Committee where it remained at legislative adjournment.

•  SF383 was introduced to the Minnesota State Legislature in 2009.  This bill requires that plastic bags used for yard waste or source-separated compostable materials meet ASTM Standard Specification for Compostable Plastics.  Additionally, this bill requires that until standards are created, plastic bags sold in the state of Minnesota may not be labeled as biodegradable or degradable.  Any bags labeled as compostable must meet the ASTM Standard Specification for Compostable Plastics and labeled to reflect that the bag meets the standard.  This bill was added to HF2123 and was signed by the governor in May 2009.  [added 08-04-09]

Missouri

  Missouri

  • In 2009, Senate Bill 340 was introduced to the Missouri General Assembly.  If enacted this bill would require stores to only provide recyclable paper bags, compostable plastic bags, reusable bags or any combination of the three.  This bill was referred to the Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment Committee on 2/11/09.  The bill remained in committee at session adjournment.   [updated 11-25-09]

Nevada

  Nevada

  • In 2009, Senate Bill 397 was introduced in the Nevada State Legislature.  This bill, if passed, would establish a Plastic Bag Environmental Cleanup Fund and impose both a fee and a ban on certain types of bags.  Customers would pay a fee on non-biodegradable and on non-compostable plastic bags from October 1, 2009 through June 30, 2011.  Beginning July 1, 2011, all non-biodegradable and non-compostable plastic bags would be banned from distribution.  This bill was referred to the Commerce and Labor committee and was not heard again as of session adjournment.   [updated 11-25-09]

New Hampshire

  New Hampshire

  • In 2008, both the House and the Senate of New Hampshire passed “A Resolution Encouraging the Use of Reusable Shopping Bags.” This resolution encourages both consumers and retailers alike to switch to reusable bags. The resolution was promoted by a group of teenagers from Hanover, New Hampshire as part of the group “Kids for a Cooler Planet.”  [added 08-17-09]

New Jersey

  New Jersey

  • In November 2011, a bill was introduced to the New Jersey Legislature that, if enacted, would impose a 10cent fee on plastic carryout bags starting in January 2013 and by January 2015 require that all stores provide only compostable plastic bags or recyclable paper bags to customers. At this time the bill has been referred to the Senate Environment and Energy Committee.  [added 03-07-12]

• In 2007, New Jersey lawmakers proposed a ban on retail bags, the ban was not passed during the 2008 session.

• In November 2009, “The Plastic Carryout Bag Reduction Act” was introduced to the New Jersey Assembly. The act would impose a $0.02 fee on every plastic carryout bag provided to a customer and require stores to provide the opportunity for customers to purchase a reusable bag. This act has been referred to the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee.  [added 01-14-10]

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New York

  New York

  • The state of New York passed legislation in 2008 to require all large grocery store chains and retailers to implement recycling of plastic bags.

• In 2009, Senate Bill 544 was introduced to the New York State Legislature.  This bill would require retail businesses to restrict the use of non-compostable plastic bags by 50%of their current use volume by 2012.  The bill goes on to completely ban non-compostable plastic bags by 2014.

• In 2009, Assembly Bill 6537 was introduced to the New York State Legislature.  This bill would enact a tax on plastic shopping bags that are used to transport every sale of tangible personal property by consumers.  The tax would be $0.15 (fifteen cents) per plastic bag.

• In 2009, Assembly Bill 6070 was introduced to the New York State Legislature.  This bill would effectively ban plastic bags at retail stores by requiring that all stores provide only paper, compostable plastic and/or reusable bags as checkout bags.

• In 2009, Assembly Bill 6937 was introduced to the New York State Assembly. If passed, this bill would establish a state commission to evaluate and make recommendations regarding the reduction of improper disposal of plastic and paper merchandise bags.

• In April 2009, a bill (AB7844/SB4866) was introduced to the Assembly and Senate proposing a five cent tax on plastic carryout bags.  The tax would apply to all stores located within cities with populations exceeding 1 million.  The bill has been forwarded to the Committee on Cities.

• In April 2009, Senate Bill 5067 was introduced to the New York State Legislature.  This bill would enact a $0.05 (five cent) sales tax on all plastic shopping bags.  The first $75 million generated from the tax would be deposited in an environmental fund.  The remaining monies would be deposited into the NY State General Fund.  This bill has been referred to the Investigations and Government Operations Committee.  [added 07-15-09]

• In 2009, Senate Bill 4595 was introduced to the New York State Legislature. If passed this bill would amend the 2008 law that requires all large grocery store chains and retailers to implement recycling of plastic bags. The amendment would, among other things, remove preemption for local laws enacted by a city of one million or more. In April 2009 the bill was referred to the Environmental Conservation Committee.

• Assembly Bill 6144 was introduced to the New York State Legislature in 2009. If passed, this bill would require store operators to pay customers at least $0.02 per carryout bag brought in by the customer to carry out goods purchased. This bill was referred to the Environmental Conservation Committee in February 2009.  [added 08-04-09]

Albany County, NY

  Albany County, NY

  Albany County, in New York State passed an in-store recycling program for plastic bags in March of 2008. This program requires stores to have collection bins and to recycle the bags.  [added 01-23-09]

Nassau County, NY

  Nassau County, NY

  In Nassau County, a county on Long Island in New York, a local plastic bag reduction and recycling law was passed in June 2008. This law requires that plastic bags be labeled with specific language, requires stores to have a bin for collection and to recycle the bags.  [added 01-23-09]

New York City

  New York City, NY

  In 2008, the New York City Council passed a bill requiring retail chains and large stores to collect and recycling plastic retail bags.

Rockland County, NY

  Rockland County, NY

  In May 2008, the County Legislature in Rockland County, New York passed a law requiring stores to recycle plastic bags and plastic film, have collection bins available customer use and make reusable bags available for purchase.  [added 01-23-09]

Rye, NY

  Rye, NY

  In December 2011, the Rye City Council approved an ordinance that bans thin, two-handled plastic bags from being distributed to customers at local stores at the point of sale. Bags exempted from the ordinance include produce-type bags, garment bags, bags 28”x36”or larger, and durable plastic bags at least 2.25mils thick. The ordinance goes into effect on May 7, 2012.  [added 03-07-12]

Southampton Village

 Southampton Village, NY

  Southampton Village, a municipality on Long Island has passed an ordinance banning non-biodegradable bags. The ban requires all grocery, retail stores and restaurants to provide only re-useable or recyclable bags to customers. The measure will be effective in September 2011. [added 05-23-11]

Suffolk County

 Suffolk County, NY

  Suffolk County, in New York State, passed a carryout bag reduction and recycling initiative in 2007.

Ulster County

 Ulster County, NY

  Local Law No. 3 of 2009 was introduced to the Legislature of the County of Ulster to impose a minimum fee of $0.10 for each plastic bag provided to customers at the point of sale. The measure was referred to the Environmental Committee and a public hearing was held May 6, 2009. A number of proposed changes were offered at the public meeting and the proposed law was sent back to the Environmental Committee for reconsideration.  [added 08-04-09]

Westchester County, NY

  Westchester County, NY

  In October 2008, a law went into effect in Westchester County New York that requires all retailers that provide plastic carry-out bags to customers to have a collection bin and to recycle the bags.  [added 01-23-09]

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North Carolina

  North Carolina

  • In 2009, House Bill 1288 was introduced to the North Carolina Legislature. If enacted, this bill would increase the state goal for plastic bag recycling from 25%to 75%and require retailers to provide in-store recycling. This bill has been referred to the Committee on Commerce, Small Business and Entrepreneurships as of April 9, 2009.   [added 08-04-09]

Outer Banks

 Outer Banks, NC

  In 2009, Senate Bill 1018 (equivalent to House Bill 810) was introduced to the North Carolina General Assembly. The bill originally would have banned all retail stores from providing plastic bags to customers and would allow paper bags to be given away only if the paper bag is recyclable. The bill was revised to only ban retail stores in the Outer Banks of North Carolina from distributing plastic bags to customers and allows paper bags to be given away only if the bag is made of recycled content. The bill was signed into law on 6/24/2009.  [added 07-24-09]


Ohio

  Ohio

  • For Earth Day 2009, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Ohio Grocers Association (OGA) announced the cooperative Plastic Bag Recycling Program.  The OGA will provide recycling bins to its retail members in order to collect plastic from consumers and to recycle pallet and shrink wrap.   [added 06-04-09]

Oregon

  Oregon

 
Corvallis

  Corvallis, OR

  The City Council of Corvallis voted in July 2012 to adopt an ordinance regulating single-use plastic carryout bags. The ordinance will be effective January 1, 2013 for retailers with more than 50 full-time employees and will be effective July 1, 2013 for retailers with 50 or fewer full time employees. Per the ordinance, retailers will not be able to provide single-use plastic carryout bags to customers and if providing a recyclable paper bag, the retailer must charge at least 5cents per bag. Retailers may provide a reusable bag or a recyclable paper bag for no charge to individuals who use a voucher under the Women, Infants and Children Program.  [added 07-24-12]

Eugene

  Eugene, OR

  In October 2012, the City Council of Eugene approved a ban on single use plastic bags at retail stores. Under the ban single use paper bags are still permissible but retailers must charge a minimum of 5cents per bag given to customers. The ban takes effect in March 2013.  [added 10-26-12]

Portland

  Portland, OR

  In July 2010, the Portland City Council issued a resolution regarding banning plastic bags. The resolution urges the passage of a statewide ban on plastic bags in the 2011 Legislative session and commits the city to pursuing an ordinance in 2011 if the state bill fails.  [updated 09-03-10]

Pennsylvania

  Pennsylvania

  • In May 2009, Senate Bill 864 was introduced in the state legislature.  The bill proposes a $0.02 (two cent) tax on all plastic retail bags from retail establishments that gross over $1,000,000 in sales per year.  Proceeds from this tax would be divided equally between the State and the retail establishments in order for each to fund programs that would improve recycling practices and education.  This bill has been forwarded to the Committee on Finances.  [added 07-15-09]

• Senate Bill 609 was introduced to the Pennsylvania Legislature in 2009. This bill, if enacted, would prohibit grocery stores from providing consumers with paper and plastic bags. The bill was referred to the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee on March 19, 2009.  [added 08-04-09]

Philadelphia

  Philadelphia, PA

  In February 2009, bill 090074 was introduced to the City of Philadelphia Council. This bill if it had been enacted would have banned supermarkets and pharmacies from providing bags other than recyclable paper bags, compostable plastic bags or reusable bags. This bill was referred to the Committee on the Environment and two hearings were held. The bill was read but did not pass the Council vote on June 18, 2009.  [added 08-04-09]

In 2009, bill 090075 was presented to the City Council of Philadelphia that would enact a $0.25 (twenty-five cent) fee on all plastic bags received by a customer at retail stores within the city.  Large businesses, with more than $1 million in annual sales, would send 75%of the fees back to the city while smaller businesses would be able to keep the money.  This bill was referred to the Committee on the Environment and a public hearing was held on June 10, 2009.  It is in council for a second reading.  [added 11-25-09]

On 11/19/09 a resolution titled “Calling on All Philadelphia Retail Stores to Implement Plastic Bag Recycling” was introduced to the City Council of Philadelphia. This resolution is currently “in council” or ready for consideration by the council.  [added 11-25-09]

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Rhode Island

  Rhode Island

  • In 2004, the state of Rhode Island established a statewide voluntary recycling program for plastic bags. This program utilized an anti-litter campaign called “Why Knot.” This campaign encouraged residents to tie plastic bags into knots to reduce the likelihood that the bags would become litter. In 2008 the legislation was amended to expand the program to all large retailers, require reporting and to expand the products accepted for recycling.

• Senate Bill 804 was introduced to the Rhode Island Legislature in January 2009. If enacted, this bill would require retail establishments to provide a $0.05 per bag rebate for every reusable bag a customer provides in order to carry purchases from the establishment. Additionally, retailers would be required to charge a $0.15 fee per plastic bag provided to customers in order to carry purchases from the establishment. This bill was referred to the Senate Environment and Agriculture Committee on March 24, 2009.

• In 2008, House Bill 7630 was introduced to the Rhode Island Legislature. The bill would have promoted paper bag usage by imposing a tax equal to $0.01 per plastic bag used by consumers for grocery or other purchases. This bill was referred to the House Finance Committee and in May 2008 the committee recommended the measure be held for further study.  [added 08-04-09]

Texas

  Texas

  • In February 2009, House Bill 1361 was filed in the Texas legislature.  This bill, if enacted would impose a seven (7) cent fee for certain plastic bags provided to customers by retailers.  Retailers would retain part of the money and the rest would go to fund a Local Recycling Program Assistance Account.  In March 2009, the bill was referred to the “Ways & Means” committee where the bill was left pending as of April 22, 2009.

• Senate Bill 338 was filed in late 2008 with the Texas legislature.  If enacted, this bill would place requirements upon businesses with more than 51 employees that offer plastic checkout bags to customers.  These requirements would include offering a reusable bag for sale at a reasonable price, asking customers if they would like to purchase a reusable bag before offering the customer a plastic checkout bag and having a recycling program for those plastic checkout bags.  The bill also provides for civil and administrative penalties for those businesses that do not comply with the requirements.  In April 2009, the bill went to the Business and Commerce Committee and was passed and then referred to the Environmental Regulation Committee.  In May 2009, the bill was left pending in that committee.  [added 06-04-09]

• House Bill 3427, introduced to the Texas Legislature in 2009, would have required businesses or shopping malls that offer plastic checkout bags to customers to offer reusable bags at a reasonable price for sale to customer and establish in-store checkout bag recycling programs. The bill also required the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to establish an online clearinghouse of information relating to the use and recycling of plastic checkout bags as well as to conduct a study. This study would have been to examine the impact the previously mentioned requirements would have on businesses and the environment, to determine what happens to plastic checkout bags after they are collected in bins at the in-store recycling programs, to determine how many businesses are collecting the plastic checkout bags and recycling them and to determine the feasibility and costs to businesses of using alternative material checkout bags. This bill was left pending in the House Environmental Regulation Committee at Legislative adjournment.   [added 08-04-09]

Austin

  Austin, TX

  In 2007, the city of Austin passed a voluntary use reduction and recycling of plastic bags program. Since that time, the retailers have reported a 40%reduction in the use of plastic bags as well as a 20%increase in recycling of plastic bags at the stores participating. In March 2012, the Austin City Council approved a ban on single-use paper and plastic bags. Food banks are exempted from the ban as are the plastic bags used by dry cleaners. The ban is effective beginning in March 2013.  [added 01-23-09 updated 3-7-12]

Brownsville

  Brownsville, TX

  The Brownsville City Commission voted unanimously on January 5, 2010 to ban plastic grocery bags in the city. The ban is voluntary in 2010 and mandatory starting January 1, 2011.  [added 03-11-10]

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Vermont

  Vermont

  • In 2009, House Bill 262 was introduced to the General Assembly. This bill would enact a $0.17 tax on each plastic bag purchased or received during a retail transaction in Vermont. If passed, the tax will go into effect on January 1, 2010.

• In 2009, Senate Bill 33 was introduced to the General Assembly. This bill would enact a $0.03 tax on each plastic bag purchased or received during a retail transaction in Vermont. If passed, the tax will go into effect on January 1, 2010.  [added 03-16-09]

• In 2008, both the House and the Senate of Vermont passed a joint resolution that supported the Hanover High School Kids for a Cooler Planet reusable shopping bag campaign. This resolution encourages both consumers and retailers alike to switch to reusable bags. The resolution was promoted by a group of teenagers from Hanover, New Hampshire as part of the group “Kids for a Cooler Planet.”   [added 08-17-09]

Virginia

  Virginia

  • In 2009, state legislative bills that would have either banned disposable plastic bags from being distributed to customers or place a fee on the bags were all pulled by their sponsors.   [added 05-22-09]

• House Bill 1814 (same as SB873) was filed with the Virginia Legislature in January 2009. If enacted the bill would have banned the use of plastic carryout bags by retailers at the point of sale unless the bags were durable plastic bags with handles, at least 2.25 mils thick and were specifically designed and manufactured for multiple reuse. This bill was referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources where it left at Legislative adjournment.

• House Bill 2010 was filed with the Virginia Legislature in January 2009. If enacted the bill would have imposed a fee of $0.05 on paper and plastic bags used by customers to carry items from the place of purchase. Durable, reusable plastic bags and bags used for ice cream, meat, fish, and poultry would have been exempt from the fee. The revenues raised by the fee would have been deposited in the Water Quality Improvement Fund. This bill was referred to the Committee Finance where it left at Legislative adjournment.

• Senate Bill 971 was filed with the Virginia Legislature in January 2009. If enacted the bill would have required on-premises recycling for plastic bags be available at stores that are part of a chain or occupy more than 5,000 square feet and distribute plastic bags to consumers. This bill was referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources it was stricken at the request of a Patron in Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources.

• Senate Joint Resolution 445 was offered February 13, 2009. This resolution commended Farm Fresh Food and Pharmacy for its exceptional environmental leadership and its commitment to reducing plastic bag use by encouraging customers to switch to reusable bags.   [added 08-04-09]

Washington

  Washington

  • House Bill 1189 was introduced to the Washington Legislature in January 2009. The bill, if it had been enacted, would have banned retail stores from providing free carryout bags unless the carryout bags were compostable plastic, recyclable paper or reusable. This bill would also have pre-empted any local city, town, county or municipality within the state from enacting more restrictive laws on retail bags. This bill was referred to the House Committee on Environmental Health where it failed to receive action at a final public hearing.   [added 08-04-09]

Bainbridge Island

  Bainbridge Island, WA

  On April 11, 2012 the City Council of Bainbridge Island Washington passed an ordinance banning plastic bags. All retail establishments are prohibited from providing single-use plastic carryout bags to customers. If a retail establishment chooses to provide paper bags, the bags must be recyclable and the store must charge a 5cent fee on each bag. This ordinance is effective November 1, 2012.  [added 07-24-12]

Bellingham

  Bellingham, WA

  On July 11, 2012, the Bellingham City Council approved an ordinance that bans single-use plastic bags and also creates a 5cent minimum fee on paper bags. The retail establishments keep the 5cent fee in exchange for providing the recycled content paper bags. Retail establishments will also provide individuals utilizing the state’s low-income food assistance program will be provided with a reusable bag or recycled content paper bag at no cost. The ordinance goes into effect on August 1, 2012.  [added 07-24-12]

Edmonds

  Edmonds, WA

  In July 2009, the City Council of Edmonds, Washington voted unanimously to ban retail establishments from distributing single use plastic bags.  The ordinance is effective August 27, 2009.  [added 08-17-09]

Issaquah

  Issaquah, WA

  On June 4, 2012, the City Council of Issaquah Washington voted to ban plastic bags in two phases. The first phase requires businesses with over 7,500 square feet to eliminate plastic bags by March 1, 2013. Businesses with less than 7,500 square feet will be required to eliminate plastic bags by March 1, 2014. Any business that provides paper bags to customers must charge a 5cent fee.  [added 07-24-12]

Mukilteo

  Mukilteo, WA

  The City Council of Mukilteo Washington passed the Solid Waste and Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance which will take effect January 1, 2013. This ordinance prohibits retail establishments from providing the single-use plastic checkout bags that are not made of either 100% post-industrial recycled resins. Retail establishments may also provide reusable cloth or durable plastic fabric bags, recycled content paper bags, or renewable compostable bags. These bags must meet ASTM Standard D6400.  [added 07-24-12]

Port Townsend

  Port Townsend, WA

  In June 2012, Port Townsend’s City Council passed an ordinance that will take effect on November 2, 2012. The ordinance bans retail establishments from providing single-use plastic bags with handles that are thinner than 2.25mils. Stores may instead provide paper bags and must charge a 5cent fee for each bag.  [added 07-24-12]

Seattle

  Seattle, WA

  In July 2008, the City Council of Seattle passed a $0.20 “green fee” on all disposable shopping bags, including paper and plastic, starting in 2009.  This fee was then placed on hold until August 2009, when a city-wide vote allowed Seattle voters to vote for or against the “green fee.”  On August 18, 2009 the “green fee” was voted down 58%to 42%.

In December 2011, the Seattle City Council unanimously voted to ban grocery, retail and convenience stores from distributing thin-filmed plastic bags and imposed a five-cent fee on paper bags. Plastic bags are still allowed for produce, bulk foods, meats and takeout food. Additionally, the ban exempts food banks and farmers’ markets and eliminates the five-cent fee for those using the state “Basic Food” cards assistance program. This measure will be effective on July 1, 2012.  [updated 03-07-12]

West Virginia

  West Virginia

  • In January 2012, a bill was introduced to the West Virginia Legislature that would levy an excise tax on plastic shopping bags at grocery, drug and convenience stores. The tax would charge stores five cents for each plastic shopping bag provided to customers. According to the bill, the tax could not be passed on to customers and must be the sole responsibility of the store. At this time the bill has been referred to the Committee on Finance.  [updated 03-07-12]

• In 2008, a ban on plastic bags from retail establishments was proposed in the state of West Virginia. The bill was not passed during the 2008 session.

• In March 2009, House Bill 3058 was introduced to the West Virginia Legislature. If enacted this bill would phase out the use of light plastic bags by July 1, 2012. Retailers would be required to provide customers with compostable bags, label bags to return to the store for recycling and place recycling bins for customer use or make reusable bags available for purchase. This bill was referred to the Energy, Industry and Labor, Economic Development and Small Business Committee.  [added 08-04-09]

Wisconsin

  Wisconsin

  • In March 2009, Assembly Bill 170 was introduced to the Wisconsin Legislature. If enacted this bill would ban retail stores from providing any bag for a customer’s purchase unless that bag is a compostable plastic bag, a cloth or plastic bag intended for multiple reuses or a recyclable paper bag. This bill was referred to the Committee on Jobs, the Economy and Small Business.  [added 08-04-09]

Madison

  Madison, WI

  In June, 2009, Madison City Council approved a bill that requires city residents to recycle plastic bags at one of thirteen city run collection sites or at businesses that already recycle plastic bags.  The city hopes to add curb-side plastic bag recycling within the next 3 years.  [added 07-24-09]

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Information about retail bag regulation activities is changing constantly.  We welcome your input.  If you have additional sources, or updates to current information on this website, please email
Johanna.Poston@dep.state.fl.us.

Last updated: September 09, 2013

Permitting and Compliance Assistance Program #850-245-8707 MS #4550