Who’s policing the bag legislation?

We now know that bag legislation is everywhere.  As more bag legislation becomes effective, how will municipalities police the industry?  We know that California has a “bag monster”…do municipalities actually have “bag police”?

Well not exactly!  As of today, you will not find carry out bag inspectors combing retailers with test equipment to validate the compliance of the carry out bags you provide.  Let’s look at some of the ways municipalities are tracking their bag legislation.

  1. Municipality Web Sites.  Some municipalities provide links on their websites for public citizens to report retailers that appear to be in violation of local bag legislation.  They also provide hotlines for citizens to call.
  2. Other City Departments.  Some municipalities have city department employees enter the premises of the retailer as part of their regular inspection function.  If they are aware of a violation, they will also report this information to the appropriate department.
  3. Bag Compliance Reports.  Many municipalities require retailers to submit quarterly carry out bag reports.  Retailers could be asked to provide copies of their purchases orders to substantiate their carry out bags do meet the bag legislation requirements.

Finally, Los Angeles County and the City of San Francisco have introduced the possibility of having retailers and manufactures provide third party test results to demonstrate the carry out bag definition performance requirements have been met.  Currently, third party test results are not included in the ordinance.

A retailer still has many choices on how your customer will carry out your product.  Our retail packaging specialists can 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.