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File:Plastic bag legislation.svg

In many countries of the world, there has been a phase-out of lightweight plastic bags. Single-use plastic shopping bags, commonly made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic,[1] have traditionally been given free to customers by stores when purchasing goods—a popular method considered a strong, cheap, and hygienic way of transporting items. Problems associated with plastic bags include use of non-renewable resources (such as crude oil, gas and coal),[2] disposal, and environmental impacts.

Governments all over the world have taken action to ban the sale of lightweight bags, charge customers for lightweight bags and/or generate taxes from the stores who sell them.[3] The Bangladesh government was the first to do so in 2002, imposing a total ban on the bag.[4] Such a ban has also been applied in countries such as Rwanda, China, Taiwan and Macedonia.[3] Some countries in Western Europe impose a fee per bag. Bans, partial bans, and fees have been enacted by some local jurisdictions in North America, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Myanmar. Concurrently with the reduction in lightweight plastic bags, shops have introduced reusable shopping bags.

Issues

File:Payatas-Dumpsite Manila Philippines02.jpg

Plastic bags cause many minor and major issues in geographical terms. The most general issue with plastic bags is the amount of waste produced. Many plastic bags end up on streets and are aesthetically displeasing.[1]

Even when disposed of properly, they take many years to decompose and break down, generating large amounts of garbage over long periods of time. If not disposed of properly the bags can pollute waterways, clog sewers and have been found in oceans affecting the habitat of animals and marine creatures.[1]

A car could drive about 11 metres on the amount of petroleum used to make a single plastic bag.Template:Citation needed Plastic bags can block drains, trap birds and kill livestock. The World Wide Fund for Nature has estimated that over 100,000 whales, seals, and turtles die every yearTemplate:Citation needed as a result of eating or being trapped by plastic bags. In India, an estimated number of 20 cows die per day as a result of ingesting plastic bags and having their digestive systems clogged by the bags. It is also very common across Africa to have sewers and drain systems clogged by bags which cause severe cases of malaria due to the increased population of mosquitoes that live on the flooded sewers.[5] The term "white pollution" has been coined in China to describe the local and global effects of discarded plastic bags upon the environment.[6]

Lightweight plastic bags are also blown into trees and other plants and can be mistaken for flowers by animals affecting their diet. Plastic bags break down, but they never biodegrade. As a result, any toxic additives they contain—including flame retardants, antimicrobials, and plasticizers—will be released into the environment. Many of those toxins directly affect the endocrine systems of organisms, which control almost every cell in the body.[7] Research shows the average operating 'lifespan' of a plastic bag to be approximately 20 minutes. Plastic bags can last in landfill – an anaerobic environment – for up to 1000 years.

Regional developments

Africa

Botswana

Botswana introduced a levy on plastic bags that became effective in 2007. This led to many retailers charging a fee on plastic bags and consequently a reduction in plastic bag use.[8]

Eritrea

Eritrea banned plastic bags in 2005.[9]

Kenya

Kenya banned the manufacture and import of plastic bags from January 2011 as a way to protect the environment.[10] The 2007 ban intended for plastics below 30 microns failed after manufacturers and retail outlets threatened to pass on the cost of using other materials to consumers.[11]

Mauritania

Mauritania banned the use, manufacture and import of plastic bags from January 2013 as a way to protect the environment, livestock, and marine species.[12]

Morocco

Morocco passed a law in October 2015 banning the use of plastic bags nationwide. The law officially came into effect on July 1, 2016. Before the ban, Morocco was the 2nd largest consumer of plastic bags in the world after the United States.[13]

Rwanda

Rwanda prohibited shops from giving away plastic bags to their customers in 2004.[14] In 2008, Rwanda completely banned plastic bags as part of its Vision 2020 plan for sustainability, though there is a lucrative black market for the now banned product.[15] The Rwandan government gave tax breaks for companies to recycle instead of manufacture plastic bags, and created a new market for environmentally friendly bags.[15] The lack of plastic bags has made Rwandan cities such as Kigali cleaner.[15]

South Africa

Plastic bags were a major issue in South Africa before the bag levy was introduced in 2004. Although lightweight plastic bags were banned, this was never enforced and they remain heavily in circulation still today. The thicker plastic bags are taxed and although this move initially caused outrage for consumers, this inconvenience has long been forgotten and consumers use about 8 billion plastic shopping bags every year. http://www.econrsa.org/papers/p_papers/pp18.pdf [16]

Tanzania

The Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar banned plastic bags in 2005.[17] Tanzania introduced a nationwide ban on plastic bags in 2006.[18]

Uganda

File:Trash in kampala.jpg

Uganda introduced legislation in 2007 to ban the sale of lightweight plastic bags under 30 µm thick and tax thicker bags at a punitive rate of 120%. Although the laws came into effect in September of that year,[19] they have not been enforced and have failed to measurably reduce the use of plastic bags.[20]

Asia

Bangladesh

A strict ban was introduced in Bangladesh in 2002 after floods caused by littered plastic bags submerged two-thirds of the country in water between 1988 and 1998.[21] Plastic bags remain a big problem for sewerage system and waterways.

China

A total plastic bag ban on ultra thin plastic bags and a fee on plastic bags was introduced in China on June 1, 2008. This came into effect because of the problems with sewerage and general waste. One 2009 survey suggests that plastic bag use fell between 60 and 80% in Chinese supermarkets, and 40 billion fewer bags were used. However, first hand accounts suggest the ban has seen limited success, and that the use of plastic bags remains prevalent. Street vendors and smaller stores, which make up a significant portion of retail in China, do not abide by the policy in part due to difficulties of enforcing the ban.[22]

Hong Kong

Hong Kong forbids retailers from giving plastic bags under a certain thickness and for free.[3] A $50 cents plastic bag levy was implemented on 1 April 2015 across Hong Kong. The use of plastic bags dropped 90% after the introduction of the levy.[23] Signs show that Hong Kong is phasing out the use of plastic bags at a dramatic rate.

File:Malpublicinfoboard.JPG

India

In 2002, India banned the production of plastic bags below 20 µm in thickness to prevent plastic bags from clogging of the municipal drainage systems and to prevent the cows of India ingesting plastic bags as they confuse it for food.[3][24] However, enforcement remains a problem.

In 2016, Sikkim, India's first fully organic state,[25] banned the use of not only packaged drinking water bottles in any government meetings or functions but also food containers made from polystyrene foam all over the state.[26]

Himachal Pradesh was the first state to ban plastic bags less than 30 µm. The Karnataka state became first state to ban all forms of plastic carry bags, plastic banners, plastic buntings, flex, plastic flags, plastic plates, plastic cups, plastic spoons, cling films and plastic sheets for spreading on dining tables irrespective of thickness including the above items made of thermacol and plastic which uses plastic micro beads.[27][28] The state of Goa has banned bags up to 40 µm thick,[29] while the city of Mumbai bans bags below a minimum thickness to 50 µm.[30]

Indonesia

Starting in 2016, Environment Ministry enforced retailers in 23 cities across the archipelago (mini-market, hypermarket, and supermarket) to charge consumers for plastic bags between Rp.500,- and Rp.2.000,- for each bag including degradable plastic bags. And money which came from tax are used by retailers as public funds for waste management alongside non-governmental organizations.[31]

Israel

In 2008 a bill imposing a charge on plastic bags passed through the first reading in the Knesset but did not become a law. The average use of plastic bags in Israel in 2014 was 275 per person per year.[32]

Malaysia

Malaysia enforce taxes on plastic bags on every Saturday since 2011 in state of Selangor.[33]

However, in Penang, taxes on plastic bags applies everyday.[34]

Myanmar

In 2009, plastic bag factories in Rangoon were ordered by local authorities to stop production by the end of November or face heavy punishment, as the Burmese government looked to ban plastic bags. Rangoon was thus following in the footsteps of central Burma's Mandalay and the new capital Naypyidaw, both of which had eliminated plastic bags.

Taiwan

In January 2003, Taiwan banned the free distribution of lightweight plastic bags.[35] The ban prevented the owners of department stores, shopping malls, hypermarkets, convenience stores, fast food restaurants and regular restaurants from providing free plastic bags to their customers. Many stores have replaced plastic with recycled paper boxes.[36] In 2006, however, the administration decided to begin allowing free plastic bags to be offered by food service operators.[37]

Europe

European Union

In November 2013, the European Commission published a proposal aiming to reduce the consumption of lightweight (thickness below 50 microns) plastic carrier bags.[38] Under the proposal, EU member states can choose the most appropriate measures to discourage the use of plastic bags. On 16 April 2014 the European Parliament passed a directive to reduce plastic bag use by 50% by 2017 and 80% by 2019.[39]

Denmark

In 2003, Denmark introduced a tax to retails for giving out plastic bags. This encouraged stores to charge for plastic bags and pushed the use of reusable bags. It was thought that this saved about 66% of plastic and paper bags.[40] In 2004, a similar law was passed by the Inatsisartut in Greenland, which applied a recycling tax on plastic bags.[41] By 2014 Denmark had the lowest plastic bag use in Europe, with 4 bags per person per year, compared to 466 in Portugal, Poland and Slovakia.[39]

Germany

Germany imposes a fee on excess packaging through its Green Dot program, which included plastic bags.[42] In addition, all stores in Germany that provide plastic bags must pay a recycling tax.Template:Citation needed

Ireland

Ireland introduced a €0.15 tax in March 2002. Levied on consumers at the point of sale, this led to 90% of consumers using long-life bags within a year. The tax was increased to €0.22 in 2007. The revenue is put into an Environment Fund.[43]

Italy

In January 2011, Italy banned the distribution of lightweight plastic bags that are not from biodegradable sources.[44]

Romania

A law was introduced in 2006 (law 578/2006) that was later modified in 2011 (law 1032/2011) that puts a mandatory tax on non-biodegradable plastic bags. Unfortunately this modification in 2011 reduced the tax on plastic bags and it is a step backwards from environmental protection. [45]

The Netherlands

The Netherlands implemented a comprehensive ban on free plastic shopping bags on January 1, 2016[46] The ban has a small exemption for unpacked food products which are exposed to possible contamination, i.e. fresh fruit. Stores, particularly supermarkets, sell reusable plastic bags for around €.15 to €.25

United Kingdom

Major supermarkets in the UK introduced "bags for life", reusable bags that customers are encouraged to use instead of disposable plastic bags.

Wales

Wales introduced a legal minimum charge of 5 pence for almost all single use bags in October 2011. Paper and biodegradable bags are included in the charge as well as plastic bags, with only a few specific exemptions – such as for unpackaged food or medicine supplied on an NHS prescription. VAT raised from the charge is collected by the government. Retailers are asked to pass the rest of the proceeds on to charities.[47] July 2012 statistics released by the Welsh Government suggested that carrier bag use in Wales had reduced since the introduction of the charge.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland introduced a 5 pence levy on almost all single use bags on 8 April 2013. The levy will be extended to reusable carrier bags with a retail price of less than 20 pence from 19 January 2014[48] as data from a number of retailers indicate that reusable bag sales have increased by 800% since the introduction of the levy on single use bags. The proceeds of the levy (£4.17m in 2013/14) are paid to the Department of the Environment and used to fund local environmental projects and enforce the levy. Official statistics for the Northern Ireland levy show that the number of single use bags dispensed fell from around 300 million in 2012/13 to 84.5 million in 2013/14 – a reduction of 72%.[49]

Scotland

A five pence minimum charge for single-use carrier bags came into force in Scotland on 20 October 2014. The proceeds of the charge can be used by the retailers as they see fit.[50] VAT will be collected by the government on every bag sold,Template:Citation needed although retailers are encouraged to pledge to donate proceeds to "good causes".[51] The charge is not exclusive to plastic bags, and includes those which are biodegradable.[50] Bags for unpackaged food, loose seeds, soil-contaminated goods, axes, knives or blades; drugs or medical appliances; small packaged uncooked fish, meat or poultry; aquatic animals; purchases made in aerodrome security restricted areas; or goods bought on board a ship, train, aircraft, coach or bus will be exempt from the charge.[52]

England

England introduced a five pence minimum charge for single use plastic bags on 5 October 2015.[53] It applies to retailers with more than 250 employees. Unlike the rest of the UK, the English charge does not apply to paper bags or bags made from other natural materials. As with the other nations, VAT raised on sales will be collected by the Government. Retailers can choose how the money raised from bag sales is used. The Government is however planning on publishing information yearly on the scheme, encouraging retailers to donate the proceeds to charities.[54][55]

In the first 6 months, 640 million plastic bags were used in seven major supermarkets in England, which should have raised £32 million pounds, for which no recipient charities have yet been identified.[56]

North America

United States

While the territories of American Samoa and Puerto Rico[57] have banned disposable bags, there is currently no national plastic bag fee or ban currently in effect in the United States. Over 100 counties and municipalities have enacted ordinances either imposing a fee on plastic bags or banning them outright, including all counties in Hawaii.[58] California passed a law prohibiting their use in September 2014 and it was implemented on July 1, 2015. Other attempts at banning plastic shopping bags statewide (for example in Massachusetts) have not succeeded mainly due to plastic industry lobbying.[59] A few jurisdictions have chosen to implement a fee-only approach to bag reduction by imposing a tax or a fee, such as Washington, D.C. and adjacent Montgomery County, Maryland.[60] Some US states, such as Florida and Arizona, have actually passed laws prohibiting bans on plastic bags statewide in order to prevent local municipalities from passing their own bans.[61]

State/Territory Municipality Jurisdictions covered Passage date Effective date Effect
Template:Country data Alaska Alaska
City of Bethel Bethel July 2009 September 2010 Plastic bag ban[62]
City of Homer Homer August 2012 January 2013 Plastic bag ban.[63]
City of Hooper Bay Hooper Bay August 2010
Template:Country data American Samoa American Samoa
American Samoa
January 2010 February 2011 Plastic bag ban for all wholesale and retail businesses.[64]
Template:Country data California CaliforniaTemplate:Smallsup
California
September 2014 November 2016
Pending statewide initiative
Plastic bag ban for large retailers; 10 cent charge for paper bags.
All local ordinances (listed below) supersede this legislation.
Template:Country data Colorado ColoradoTemplate:Smallsup
City of Aspen Aspen October 2011 May 2012 Plastic bag ban for large retailers; 20 cent charge for paper bags.[65]
City of Boulder Boulder November 2012 July 2013 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[66]
City of Carbondale Carbondale October 2011 May 2012 Plastic bag ban for large retailers; 20 cent charge for paper bags.[66]
Town of Telluride Telluride October 2010 March 2011 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[67]
Template:Country data Connecticut Connecticut Town of Westport Westport September 2008 March 2009 Plastic bag ban. Defines acceptable "recyclable paper bag" alternatives.[68]
Template:Country data District of Columbia District of Columbia Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C. June 2009 August 2009 Minimum 5 cent fee for plastic bags.[69]
Template:Country data Hawaii HawaiiTemplate:Smallsup
Hawaii County Unincorporated territories December 2011 January 2013 Ban on compostable and non-compostable plastic checkout bags. Allows plastic bags at least 3 mils.[70]
Honolulu City and County Honolulu 2014 July 2015 Bill 10 in 2010 banned some plastic checkout bags but allowed biodegradable bags. Bill 38 in 2014 banned biodegradable plastic checkout bags but allowed compostable plastic bags. Plastic bags still allowed for carrying food and drinks, plastic bags at least 2.25 mils allowed.[71]
Kauai County Unincorporated territories October 2009 January 2011 Ban on plastic checkout bags made with fossil fuels. Biodegradable bags allowed.[72]
Maui County Unincorporated territories August 2008 Ban on compostable and non-compostable plastic checkout bags. Allows plastic bags at least 3 mils.[73]
Template:Country data Illinois Illinois
Chicago Chicago April 30, 2014 August 1, 2015 (larger stores), August 1, 2016 (all stores) Ban affects only chains and franchise stores. Reusable bags must be at least 2.25 mils.[74][75]
City of Evanston Evanston July 28, 2014 August 1, 2015 Bans plastic bags less than 2.25 mils at chain and franchise stores over 10,000 square feet. Biodegradable bags allowed.[76]
Template:Country data Maine Maine
Town of Falmouth Falmouth January, 2016 April 1, 2016 5-cent fee for single-use plastic (and paper) bags at stores greater than 10,000 square feet. Reusable plastic bags must be at least 4 mils.[77]
City of Portland Portland June 2014 April 15, 2015 5-cent fee for single-use plastic (and paper) bags at pharmacies, and food and convenience stores, which is kept by the store.[78]
City of South Portland South Portland September 2015 March 1, 2016 5-cent fee for single-use plastic (and paper) bags at pharmacies, and food and convenience stores, which is kept by the store. Reusable plastic bags must be at least 2.25 mils.[79]
Town of York York November 3, 2015 March 3, 2016 Plastic bag ban. Reusable plastic bags must be at least 3 mils.[80]
Template:Country data Maryland Maryland
Town of Chestertown Chestertown April 4, 2011 January 2012 Plastic bag ban. Reusable plastic bags must be at least 2.25 mils.[81]
Montgomery County Unincorporated territories May 2011 January 2012 Minimum 5 cent fee for plastic bags.[82]
Template:Country data Massachusetts Massachusetts
Town of Adams Adams June 20, 2016 March 30, 2017 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 2.5 mils.[83][84]
Town of Amherst Amherst May 3, 2016 January 1, 2017 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 3 mils.[85]
Town of Aquinnah Aquinnah May 10, 2016 January 1, 2017 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 4 mils.[86]
Town of Barnstable Barnstable September 3, 2015 c. September 2016 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 3 mils.[87][88]
Town of Bridgewater Bridgewater March 8, 2016 September 2016 Plastic bag ban for chain and larger stores (basically 3000 square feet). Reusable bags must be at least 2.5 mils.[89]
Town of Brookline Brookline November 2012 December 1, 2013 Non-biodegradable plastic bag ban for larger stores (basically 2500 square feet). Reusable bags must be at least 2.25 mils.[90]
City of Cambridge Cambridge March 30, 2015 March 31, 2016 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 3 mils. Paper bags must contain at least 40% post-consumer recycled paper content. Fee of 10¢ on single-use bags.[91]
Town of Chatham Chatham November 16, 2015 January 1, 2016 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 2.5 mils.[92]
Town of Chilmark Chilmark April 25, 2016 January 1, 2017 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 4 mils. Paper bags must contain at least 40% post-consumer recycled paper content.[93]
Town of Concord Concord April 2015 January 1, 2016 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 2.5 mils.[94]
Town of Edgartown Edgartown April 12, 2016 January 1, 2017 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 4 mils.[95]
Town of Falmouth Falmouth November 2014 May 2016 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 2.5 mils.[96]
Town of Framingham Framingham May 12, 2016 January 1, 2018 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 2.5 mils.[97]
Town of Great Barrington Great Barrington May 2013 2013 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 2.5 mils.[98]
Town of Hamilton Hamilton April 11, 2015 July 27, 2016 Non-biodegradable plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 3 mils.[99]
Town of Harwich Harwich May 4, 2015 May, 2016 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 2.5 mils.[100]
Town of Lee Lee May 10, 2016 May 10, 2017 Plastic bag ban. Reusable plastic bags must be at least 4 mils. Paper bags must contain at least 40% post-consumer recycled paper content.[101]
Town of Lenox Lenox June 9, 2016 June 9, 2017 Plastic bag ban. Reusable plastic bags must be at least 4 mils. Paper bags must contain at least 40% post-consumer recycled paper content.[102]
Town of Manchester-by-the-Sea Manchester-by-the-Sea April 2013 January 2014 Plastic bag ban. Reusable plastic bags must be greater than 2.5 mils.[103]
Town of Marblehead Marblehead May 5, 2014 May 2015 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 3 mils.[104]
City of Newburyport Newburyport Sep. 8, 2014 March 29, 2015 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 3 mils.[105]
City of Newton Newton January 20, 2015 July 2015 Plastic bag ban for larger stores (basically 3500 square feet). Reusable bags must be at least 3 mils. Paper bags must contain at least 40% post-consumer recycled paper content.[106]
City of Northampton Northampton May, 2015 January 1, 2016 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be more than 3 mils.[107]
Town of Provincetown Provincetown October 27, 2014 April 15, 2015 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 1.5 mils.[108]
Town of Shrewsbury Shrewsbury May 17, 2016 July 1, 2017 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 4 mils. Paper bags must contain at least 40% post-consumer recycled paper content.[109]
City of Somerville Somerville November 24, 2015 November 24, 2016 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must pass a 22-pound walk test. Paper bags must contain at least 40% post-consumer recycled paper content.[110]
Town of Tisbury Tisbury April 12, 2016 January 1, 2017 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 4 mils.[95]
Town of Truro Truro November 5, 2015 June 1, 2016 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 1.5 mils.[111]
Town of Watertown Watertown June 7, 2016 July 1, 2017 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 3 mils. Paper bags must contain at least 40% post-consumer recycled paper content.[112]
Town of Wellesley Wellesley April 11, 2016[113] January 1, 2017 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 4 mils. Paper bags must contain at least 40% post-consumer recycled paper content.
Town of Wellfleet Wellfleet April, 2015 January 1, 2016 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 3.5 mils.[114]
Town of West Tisbury West Tisbury April 12, 2016 January 1, 2017 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 4 mils.[95]
Town of Williamstown Williamstown May 19, 2015 November, 2015 Plastic bag ban including produce bags and dry cleaning bags. Reusable shopping bags must be at least 4 mils.[115]
Template:Country data New Jersey New Jersey Borough of Longport Longport November 20, 2015 2015 A fee of not less than ten cents for each non-reusable carryout bag. Reusable plastic bags must be at least 2.25 mils.[116]
Template:Country data New Mexico New Mexico City of Santa Fe Santa Fe August 2013 January 2014 Plastic bag ban thinner than 2.25 mm.[117]
Template:Country data New York New York
East Hampton Village East Hampton Village August 2011 February 2012 Plastic bag ban.[118]
Village of Hastings on Hudson, Town of Greenburgh Hastings on Hudson November 2014 February 2015 Plastic bag ban.[119]
Village of Mamaroneck Mamaroneck July 2012 January 2013 Plastic bag ban.[120]
Village of New Paltz New Paltz October 22, 2014 April 1, 2015 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 2.25 mils. Paper bags must contain "a minimum of 40% postconsumer recycled content".[121]
Village of Patchogue Patchogue June 8, 2015 September 6, 2016 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 2.25 mils.[122]
City of Rye Rye December 2011 May 2012 Plastic bag ban.[123]
Village of Southampton Village of Southampton April 2011 November 2011 Plastic bag ban.[124]
Template:Country data North Carolina North Carolina
Outer Banks Duck June 2009 October 1, 2010 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 2.25 mils. Paper bags must be at least 40% recycled.[125]
Kill Devil Hills
Kitty Hawk
Manteo
Nag's Head
Southern Shores
Unincorporated territories
Template:Country data Oregon Oregon
City of Corvallis Corvallis July 2012 Plastic bag ban; 5 cent charge for paper bags.
City of Eugene Eugene October 2012 May 1, 2013 Plastic bag ban; 5 cent charge for paper bags. Reusable bags must be at least 4 mils.[126]
City of Portland Portland July 2011 October 2011 Plastic bag ban.[127] Reusable bags must be at least 4 mils.[128]
Template:Country data Rhode Island Rhode Island Town of Barrington Barrington October 2012 January 2013 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 4 mils (as amended on February 1, 2016).[129]
Template:Country data Texas Texas
City of Austin Austin March 2012 March 2013 Plastic bag and paper bag ban. Reusable plastic bags must be at least 4 mils.[130]
City of Brownsville Brownsville December 15, 2009 January 5, 2011 Single-use bag ban. $1 charge per transaction for any number of single-use plastic or paper bags. Reusable bags must be at least 4 mils if plastic or 65# if paper.[131]
City of Dallas Dallas March 2014 Jan. 2015 5¢ fee for single-use plastic and paper bags. (Ban on all single-use bags on city property or city events.) Reusable plastic bags must be at least 4 mils.[132]
City of Fort Stockton Fort Stockton September 2011 Plastic bag ban.
City of South Padre Island South Padre Island January 2011 January 2012 Plastic bag ban.[133]
Template:Country data Washington Washington
City of Bainbridge Island Bainbridge Island April 2012 November 2012 Plastic bag ban. 5 cent charge for paper bags.[134]
City of Bellingham Bellingham July 2011 July 2012 Plastic bag ban. 5 cent minimum charge for paper bags.[135]
City of Edmonds Edmonds July 2009 Plastic bag ban.
City of Issaquah Issaquah June 2012 March 2013 Plastic bag ban.[136]
City of Mukilteo Mukilteo December 2011 January 2013 Plastic bag ban.[137]
City of Olympia Olympia October 2013 July 2014 Plastic bag ban. 5 cent charge for paper bags.[138]
City of Port Townsend Port Townsend July 2012 November 2012 Plastic bag ban. 5 cent charge for paper bags.[139]
City of Seattle Seattle December 2011 July 2012 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 2.25 mils. Minimum 5 cent charge for paper bags.[140]
City of Shoreline Shoreline April 2013 February 2014 Plastic bag ban. 5 cent charge for paper bags.[141]
Thurston County Unincorporated territories September 2013 July 2014 Plastic bag ban. 5 cent charge for paper bags.[142]
City of Tumwater Tumwater September 2013 July 2014 Plastic bag ban. 5 cent charge for paper bags.[143]

Notes

  • Template:Smallsup The state of California's statewide bag ban will not go into effect pending a ballot initiative in November 2016. Local legislation in this list will supersede the state legislation, regardless of the outcome of the initiative.
  • Template:Smallsup The City of Fort Collins, Colorado passed a 5¢ fee on single-use bags on August 19, 2014, and repealed it on October 21, 2014.
  • Template:Smallsup Although the state of Hawaii does not ban plastic bags, all of its local jurisdictions do, effectively banning them statewide.[144]
California

Californians will decide on November 2016 whether or not to approve state legislation banning plastic bags statewide and imposing a 10 cent charge on paper bags. Regardless of the outcome of this vote, the following local legislation will remain and, in the event that legislation is approved by voters, supersede the statewide legislation.

Region County Jurisdictions covered Passage date Effective date Effect
Central Valley Sacramento County Sacramento March 2015 January 2016 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[145][146]
Unincorporated territories April 2016 July 2016
Yolo County Davis November 2013 July 2014 Plastic bag ban.[147]
Greater Los Angeles Area Los Angeles County Beverly Hills[148] April 22, 2014 July 1, 2014 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.
Calabasas[149] February 2011 July 2011
Culver City[150] May 2013 December 2013
Glendale[151] January 2013 July 2013
Hermosa Beach[152] April 2016
Long Beach[153] February 2012 January 2013
Los Angeles[154] June 2013 January 2014
Malibu[155] May 2008 May 2009 Plastic bag ban.
Manhattan Beach[156] July 2008 July 2011
Monrovia[157] July 2014 January 2015 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.
Pasadena[158] November 2011 July 2012
Pico Rivera[159] October 2014 July 2016
Santa Monica[160] February 2011 September 2011
South Pasadena[161] October 2014 December 2014
West Hollywood[162] August 2012 February 2013
Unincorporated territories[163] November 2010 January 2012
Orange County Dana Point March 2012 April 2013 Plastic bag ban.[164]
Huntington Beach April 2013 November 2013 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[165]
Laguna Beach February 2012 January 2013 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[166]
Riverside County Cathedral City July 2015 February 2016 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[167]
Desert Hot Springs March 2014 September 2014 Plastic bag ban. Small fee for paper bag.[168]
Indio May 2014 November 2014 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[169]
Palm Desert May 2014 October 2015 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[170]
Palm Springs April 2014 November 2014 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[171]
Ventura County Ojai April 2012 July 2012 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[172]
Northern California Butte County Chico May 2014 January 2015 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[173]
El Dorado County South Lake Tahoe October 2013 February 2014 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[174]
Humboldt County Arcata February 2014 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[175]
Mendocino County Fort Bragg[176] May 2012 December 2013 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.
Ukiah[177] May 2012 February 2013
Unincorporated territories[178] June 2012 January 2013
Mono County Mammoth Lakes March 2016 Plastic bag ban.[179]
Monterey County Carmel-by-the-Sea[180] July 2012 February 2013 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.
Greenfield[181] August 2014 February 2015
Gonzales[182] July 2014 January 2015
Pacific Grove[183] August 2014 March 2015
King City[184] September 2014 January 2015
Marina[185] August 2014
Monterey December 2011 June 2012 Plastic bag ban; 25 cent charge for paper bags.[186]
Salinas[187] August 2014 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.
Seaside[188] August 2014 September 2015
Soledad[189] October 2014 May 2015
Unincorporated territories[190] August 2014
Nevada County Grass Valley August 2014 January 2015 Plastic bag ban. Small fee for paper bag.[191]
Nevada City June 2014 July 2015 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[192]
Truckee November 2013 June 2014 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[193]
Greater San Francisco Bay Area Alameda County Alameda January 2012 January 2013 Plastic bag ban for food and liquor stores, and pharmacies; reusable bags must be at least 2.25 mils; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[194]
Albany
Berkeley
Dublin
Emeryville
Fremont
Hayward
Livermore
Oakland
Piedmont
Pleasanton
San Leandro
Union City
Unincorporated territories
Contra Costa County
Danville December 2014 July 2016 Plastic bag ban.[195]
Hercules September 2014 January 2015 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[196]
Lafayette December 2014 July 2015 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[184]
Martinez 2014 Plastic bag ban.[197]
Pittsburg October 2013 January 2014 Plastic bag ban; phased charge for paper bags until 25 cents in the third year.[198]
Pleasant Hill August 2014 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[199]
Richmond July 2013 January 2014 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[200]
San Pablo October 2013 January 2014 Plastic bag ban. Ten cent fee for paper bag.[168]
Walnut Creek March 2014 September 2014 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[201]
Marin County
Corte Madera[202] July 2015 September 2015 Plastic bag ban. 10 cent charge for paper bag.
Fairfax[203] August 2007 November 2008 Plastic bag ban. 10 cent charge for paper bag.
Larkspur[204] May 2014 November 2014
Mill Valley October 21, 2013 November 21, 2013[205] Plastic bag ban; 5 cent charge for paper bags.[206]
Novato[207] March 2014 Plastic bag ban. 10 cent charge for paper bag.
Ross[208] September 2014 April 2015
San Anselmo[209] January 2015
San Rafael[210] March 2014 September 2014
Sausalito[211] March 2014
Tiburon[212] September 2014
Unincorporated territories January 2011 January 2012 Plastic bag ban.[213]
Napa County
CiAmerican Canyon January 2016 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[214]
Calistoga August 2014 January 2015 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[215]
Napa Napa August 2014 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[216]
St. Helena August 2014 January 2015 Plastic bag ban. Ten cent fee for paper bag.[217]
Yountville February 2016 March 2016 Plastic bag ban. Ten cent fee for paper bag. [218]
Unincorporated territories January 2016 July 2016 Plastic bag ban. Ten cent fee for paper bag. [219]
San Francisco City and County San Francisco April 2007 Limited plastic bag ban.
February 2012 October 2012 Expansion of ban to cover all retail stores in 2012 and all restaurants in 2013. 10 cent charge for paper bags.[220]
San Mateo County Belmont January 2013 April 2013 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[221]
Brisbane March 2013
Burlingame
Colma January 2013
Daly City
East Palo Alto April 2013 October 2013
Half Moon Bay March 2013 April 2013
Menlo Park
Millbrae[222] February 2012 September 2012
Pacifica December 2012 April 2013
Portola Valley January 2013
Redwood City March 2013 October 2013
San Bruno January 2013 April 2013
San Carlos March 2013 July 2013
San Mateo[223] May 2013 June 2013
South San Francisco December 2012 April 2013
Unincorporated territories November 2012
Santa Clara County CampbellTemplate:Smallsup[221] July 2013 January 2014 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.
Cupertino[224] March 2013 October 2013
Los AltosTemplate:Smallsup[221] March 2013 July 2013
Los GatosTemplate:Smallsup[221] September 2013 February 2014
Milpitas[225] September 2015 July 2016
Morgan Hill[226] October 2013 April 2014
Mountain ViewTemplate:Smallsup[221] December 2012 April 2013
Palo Alto[227]
May 2013 July 2013
San Jose[228] January 2011 January 2012
Santa Clara[229] September 2014 December 2014
Sunnyvale[230] December 2011 June 2012
Unincorporated territories[231] April 2011 January 2012
Santa Cruz County Capitola January 2013 April 2013 Plastic bag ban; 25 cent charge for paper bags.[232]
Santa Cruz July 2012 April 2013 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[233]
Watsonville May 2012 June 2012 Plastic bag ban; 25 cent charge for paper bags.[234]
Unincorporated territories September 2011 March 2012 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[235]
October 2012 April 2013 Expansion of ban to restaurants.[236]
Sonoma County Cloverdale February 2014 September 2014 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[237]
Cotati
Healdsburg
Petaluma
Rohnert Park
Santa Rosa[238]
Sebastopol
Sonoma
Windsor
Unincorporated territories[239]
Southern California San Diego County Del Mar May 2016 November 2016 (retail)
May 2017 (restaurants)
Plastic bag ban.[240]
Encinitas September 2014 April 2015 Plastic bag ban. Small fee for paper bag.[241]
San Diego July 2016 January 2017 Plastic bag ban. Ten cent fee for paper bag.[242]
Solana Beach May 2012 June 2012 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[243]
San Luis Obispo County Arroyo Grande January 2012 October 2012 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[244]
Atascadero
Grover Beach
Morro Bay
Paso Robles
Pismo Beach
San Luis Obispo
Unincorporated territories
Santa Barbara County Carpinteria March 2012 July 2012 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[245]
Santa Barbara October 2013 December 2014 Plastic bag ban. Ten cent fee for paper bag.[246]

Notes:

  • Template:Smallsup The San Mateo County Environmental Impact Report also studied six cities in neighboring Santa Clara County. Campbell, Los Altos, Los Gatos, and Mountain View opted to join San Mateo County's ordinance because of this.

Canada

In March 2007, the small town of Leaf Rapids, Manitoba, became the first community in North America to ban bags.[247]

The Toronto City Council voted on June 6, 2012, to ban plastic bags effective January 1, 2013, and to scrap the city's five-cent bag fee starting July 1, 2012.[248] Industry groups have convinced city officials to include a grace period between January 1, 2013, and June 30, 2013, when no fines, only warnings, can be issued.[249] The bag ban and five cent fee (six cents with HST) have both been overturned as of November 28, 2012 and it's up to individual retailers if they want to charge for plastic bags.[250] Most stores, with the exception of a few national retailers do not charge.

Province/Territory Municipality Passage date Effective date Effect
Template:Country data Alberta Alberta Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo April 10, 2010 September 10, 2010 Single-use plastic and paper shopping bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 2.25 mils.[251]
Template:Country data Manitoba Manitoba
Leaf Rapids March 22, 2007 April 2, 2007 Single-use plastic shopping bag.[252]
Thompson September 27, 2010 December 31, 2010 Single-use polyethylene bag ban. Reusable bags must be 2.25 mils thick.[253]
Template:Country data Quebec Quebec
Brossard February 16, 2016 September 1, 2016 Single-use plastic bag ban (including compostable)[254][255]
Deux-Montagnes 2009 Plastic bag ban[256]
Huntingdon 2008 Plastic bag ban including bags used for newspapers and flyers[256]

Mexico

Mexico approved legislation to ban and fine plastic bags in August 2010. However, the legislation is not observed.[257] Plastic bags are one of Mexico's biggest pollution problems.[258]

Oceania

Australia

Although the nation does not ban lightweight bags, the states of South Australia, Tasmania, and the ACT and Northern Territory, along with some cities have independently banned the bag. Coles Bay, Tasmania was the first location in Australia to ban the bag.[259] The introduction of the "Zero Waste" program in South Australia led to its lightweight bag ban in October 2008. It is estimated that 400 million bags are saved each year.[260]

In Australia, 6 billion HDPE bags were used in 2002.[1] Usage reduced to 5.6 billion in 2004,[2] and 3.9 billion in 2007.[1]

New Zealand

Despite various attempts, as of 2015, no laws have been passed in New Zealand to ban or charge for plastic bags.[261]

Papua New Guinea

In 2015, Papua New Guinea announced a previous ban on non-biodegradable plastic shopping bags would be enforced starting 1 January 2016.[262][263]

South America

Colombia

Colombia plans to eliminate the use of plastic bags by 80% by the year 2020, and completely eliminate their use by the year 2025.[264] On 29 April 2016, the Ministry of Environment passed a resolution banning plastic bags which dimensions are of, and smaller than, 30 cm by 30 cm.[265]

Alternatives

Most lightweight bags are made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE). A reusable but generally short-lived alternative is bags made from thicker low-density polyethylene (LDPE), which are more expensive to produce.[266] Bags can also be made from biodegradable materials that will generally break down quicker than HDPE. A common material is cornstarch.[267]

See also

References

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