It has been over a year since the County of San Mateo’s Reusable Bag Ordinance went into effect on April 22, 2013, which mandated a minimum charge of 10¢ per recycled paper bag or reusable bag provided at checkout. The purpose of the ordinance is to protect the local environment by reducing waste, conserving resources, and protecting the bay from plastic bag litter.
As of January 1, 2015, the minimum charge will increase to 25¢.
How to Comply With the Ordinance:
- Do not provide single-use plastic carry-out bags to customers
- Provide customers with a recycled paper bag or reusable bag and charge a minimum of 25¢ each
- Program cash registers to show the itemized sale of bags on the customer sales receipt (Note: All revenue from bag sales will be kept by retailers and are exempt from sales tax)
- Maintain complete records of fees charged for a minimum of 3 years
- When distributing paper bags, they must be made from at least 40% post-consumer recycled content and be 100% recyclable with the words “reusable” or “recyclable” printed on the outside
- Protective bags for dry-cleaning, meat, fresh produce, prepared food, and pharmaceuticals
- Restaurants and public eating establishments that receive more than 90 percent of revenue from the sale of prepared food
- Nonprofit charitable reuse organizations as defined in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, such as Goodwill, Salvation Army or St. Vincent de Paul
- A waiver from the 25¢ charge for WIC, EBT, SNAP, or CalFresh customers is allowed
FREE window decals and Menlo Park reusable bags (supplies are limited) are available. FREE toolkits, additional resources, and the complete ordinance language can be found at www.smchealth.org/bagban. For more information please contact (650) 330-6720 or email@example.com.