California Statewide Single-Use Carryout Bag Ban is Now in Place

On November 8, 2016, California voters approved Proposition 67, the statewide Single-Use Carryout Bag Ban.

As a result, the new law is in effect and most grocery stores, retail stores with a pharmacy, convenience stores, food marts, and liquor stores are no longer able to provide single-use plastic carry-out bags to customers.

Instead, these stores may provide a reusable grocery bag or recycled paper bag to a customer at the point of sale at a charge of at least 10 cents.

Many cities and counties have bag ordinances in place. Some of these jurisdictions’ ordinances will not be subject to this new law, depending on whether they meet certain preemption requirements.

The following types of stores are impacted by the bag ban:

Grocery Stores: Full-line, self-service retail stores with gross annual sales of at least $2 million that sell a line of dry groceries, canned goods, or nonfood items and some perishable items.

Large Retail Stores with a Pharmacy: Stores that have at least 10,000 square feet of retail space and a pharmacy and that generate sales or use tax.

Convenience Stores, Food Marts, or Liquor Stores: Stores engaged in the retail sale of a limited line of goods, generally including milk, bread, soda, and snack foods, and that hold a Type 20 or Type 21 license issued by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Volunteer Stores: Retail establishments not included in this list that voluntarily agree to comply with the requirements of the statute.

Are there single-use bags NOT covered by the new law?
Yes. Bags used by pharmacies for prescriptions; bags used to protect a purchased item from damage or contamination, such as bags used for fruits and vegetables; and bags used to contain unwrapped food items like bulk foods are some examples of single-use bags not covered by the new law. In addition, bags without handles that are designed to be placed over articles of clothing on a hanger are not covered under the new law.

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