Single–Use Bag Legislation…The Year in Review

It was seven years ago that the first bag legislation was introduced. We’ve seen a lot of change over seven years. 2012 was a busy year for local bag ordinances; both in California and around the world.

Here are some stats for California:

  • 20 new bag ordinances adopted in 2012, covering 41 cities and counties
  • That’s double the number of bag ordinances adopted in 2011
  • Stores in at least 56 cities and counties will be affected by bag legislation by Earth Day, 2013

The new year will see many ordinances approved during 2012 require compliance in January 2013. These cities/counties include:

  • Alameda County, CA
  • Laguna Beach, CA
  • Pasadena, CA (2nd part of their phase-in program)
  • The Big Island of Hawaii
  • Village of Mamaroneck, NY
  • Barrington, RI
  • Corvallis, OR
  • Laguna Vista, TX
  • Mukilteo, WA

Our retail packaging specialists stay on top of the ever changing market conditions. Let us help you navigate bag legislation in the municipalities you sell into and select the best packaging for your stores. We hope that you will contact us by phone at 888-429-5673 or via email at baglaws@swalter.com.

Bag Ban Confusion?

There seems to be a new single-use bag ban or ordinance every day, increasing the number of cities that have adopted single use bag bans this year to 42, and the total number of single use bag bans in the U.S. to 79 – nearly two-thirds of them in California.

In addition, Los Angeles – the nation’s second largest city, with a population of 4 million – is set to join that group. Two other communities Washington, D.C., and Montgomery County, Md. have fees on single use bags handed out at carryout.

Single use bag bans are now in place in 5 of the 29 largest cities in the United States – San Francisco, San Jose, Austin, Seattle and Portland. The nation’s fourth-largest city, Houston, is currently considering a single use bag ban proposal.

Also weighing a decision on single use bags is Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, who has a petition urging him not to sign a bill that that passed in the legislature earlier this summer that would mandate single use plastic bag recycling and bar all cities in the state except for Chicago from banning single use plastic carryout bags.

But don’t worry if you’re confused about what’s banned and where, because the details are indeed confusing. These bans, fees and taxes are a patchwork of regulations, with differing standards. It doesn’t matter which side of the issue you stand on, the fact is new single use bag regulations are popping up everywhere, and WE ARE HERE TO HELP.  Our retail packaging specialists can help you navigate these regulations and select the best packaging for your stores.  We hope that you will contact us by phone at 888-429-5673 or via email at baglaws@swalter.com

Look for our next blog when we dive into the qualifications of a single use bag vs. reusable bag!