Starting on January 1, 2013, grocery stores and certain other food retailers in Alameda County can no longer provide single-use plastic carryout bags at checkout. Non-food related retail establishments and restaurants providing plastic bags for take-out are exempt from the requirements.
Recycled content paper bags and reusable bags may be provided, but affected stores must charge a minimum $0.10 per bag. Consumers may bring any type of bag to a store for their purchases, and are encouraged to do so!
The Alameda County Waste Management Authority adopted the Reusable Bag Ordinance in January 2012 to reduce the use of single-use carryout bags and promote the use of reusable bags. Similar ordinances have been passed in San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles County, and other communities throughout California.
Plastic bags are one of the most common litter items found in our waterways, and plastic pollution is a growing threat to oceans and marine life. Plastic bags take hundreds of years to break down or decompose, causing a cumulative litter problem. Shopping with reusable bags helps reduce litter and waste, protects creeks and the bay, and conserves natural resources.