Carryout Bag Ban

On February 19, 2014, the City and County Members of The Sonoma County Waste Management Agency passed an ordinance (PDF) to reduce the environmental impacts related to the use of single-use carryout bags and to shift toward reusable bags.

About the Ordinance

What shoppers need to know about the ordinance:
Reusable Bag
  • Beginning September 1, 2014, single-use plastic bags will no longer be available at all grocery and retail stores in Sonoma County.
  • Stores must charge a minimum of $0.10 for each paper bag.
  • The ordinance is intended to reduce litter, keep plastic bags out of local waterways, and encourage the use of reusable bags.

What's Excluded From the Ordinance

Bags used for produce, bulk foods and meats, bags used to hold prescription medications from a pharmacy, and bags used to segregate food or merchandise from each other.

Tips for Remembering Your Bag

  • Put your bags where you will use them, such as in the car, on the doorknob, in your purse or backpack.
  • Is your bag in your cart or basket? As you enter a store make sure you have a bag. If you forgot, make the effort to go back and get it.
  • Get bags that match your style. You'll use your bags more if you enjoy them.
  • Put your kids in charge of remembering.
I've Got a Bag Habit. Remember Me.

Bag Facts

Historic Use of Plastic Bags

  • 18.2 billion estimated 2008 California plastic carryout bag use. In 2008, the U.S. EPA estimated the plastic bag recover rate at 9.8%.
  • 232 million estimated 2008 Sonoma County plastic bag use-that's 1.3 plastic bags per Sonoma County resident per day.

Historic Use of Paper Bags

  • 3.6 billion estimated 2008 California paper carryout bag use. In 2008, the U.S. EPA estimated the paper bag recover rate at 37.6%.
  • 46 million estimated 2008 Sonoma County paper bag use-that's .25 paper bags per Sonoma County resident per day.

Helpful Resources

For more information, please visit the Recycle Now website.