Single–Use Bag Legislation Continues to Grow

2012 is coming to an end. There have been many single-use bag regulations that have been adopted and many more that will be effective this year. States are continuing to consider strategies to reduce the number of single–use bags from grocery stores and other retail outlets. Local governments, especially in California, have been busy crafting ordinances to restrict the use of single-use bags in their jurisdictions. In addition to banning single-use bags, the new generation of bag legislation also imposes fees on recyclable paper bags.

No state has yet to enact a statewide ban, fee or tax. The State of Hawaii is the only state to have all of its counties now ban plastic checkout bags that do not meet their definition of recyclable as well as paper bags that do not contain at least 40 percent recycled content.  Kauai and Maui County ordinances are already effective and enforceable. The Hawaii County ban becomes effective January 17, 2013.  Honolulu County adopted their ban in May of 2012, but it is not effective until July 1, 2015.  The state of California has tried numerous times to pass state wide legislation banning single-use bags. However, they have not been successful, which has led over 50 counties/cities to enact and adopt their own single-use bag legislation.

Our retail packaging specialists continue to stay on top of the changing markets.  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.