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Resources for Businesses

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At ALL Retail Stores and Restaurants in Davis:

  • Single-use plastic carryout bags may not be distributed to customers at the point of sale.
  • Stores MUST charge a minimum fee of 10 cents ($0.10) per bag for paper and reusable carryout bags provided to a customer at the point of sale.
  • Restaurants are not required to charge a fee for paper or reusable bags provided for take-out food.
  • All paper carryout bags must be made from a minimum 40% post-consumer recycled material.
  • All reusable carryout bags must meet certain criteria for durability.

Resources For Businesses

Get Prepared: Store Checklist

  • Read the ordinance and become familiar with it.
  • Review the Frequently Asked Questions below for more information regarding the ordinance.
  • Stock up on paper bags with at least 40% post-consumer recycled content and make sure you have the percentage of post-consumer recycled material information printed on the bags.

Requirements for Businesses

  • The Carry-Out Bag Ordinance applies to commercial establishments selling perishable or nonperishable goods directly to the customer, this includes all retail, restaurants, and take-out food (fast-food) businesses.
  • The ordinance does not apply to nonprofit charitable reuse stores (thrift stores).
  • Businesses may not provide single-use plastic carry-out bags to customers (plastic carry-out bags are banned). Customers may bring their own reusable bags or purchase bags from businesses.

    paper-bag

  • Retail stores may provide customers with a recycled paper bag or reusable bag, but only if the store charges a minimum price of 10 cents per bag.
  • A business may exempt customers paying for goods with WIC, CalFresh, SNAP or other food stamp cards from bag charges.
  • Businesses retain money collected from bag charges. The 10 cent paper bag pass-through is exempt from sales tax.
  • Protective bags (without handles) may be provided at no charge for use to segregate and transport items to the cashier (e.g. bags for meat, produce, prescriptions, greeting cards, or bulk items).
  • Paper bags must meet certain criteria:
    • Paper carryout bag must be 40 percent post-consumer recycled content minimum.
    • An eight pound-rated or smaller paper carryout bag must be 20 percent post-consumer recycled content minimum.
    • The bags recycled content percentage must be printed on the paper carryout bag. (example: “Made from 40% post-consumer recycled materials”).
    • The paper carryout bag must be recyclable and compostable (no plastic or cloth handles or other components).
  • reusable-bag-2Reusable bags must meet certain criteria:
    • Must be machine washable or easily cleaned or disinfected.
    • Does not contain lead, cadmium, or any other heavy metal in toxic amounts, as defined by applicable State and Federal standards and regulations for packaging or reusable bags.
    • If made of plastic, is a minimum of at least 2.25 mils (thousandths of an inch) thick.
    • Has a minimum lifetime of 125 uses, which for purposes of this subdivision, means the capability of carrying a minimum of 22 pounds 125 times over a distance of at least 175 feet.
  • Enforcement is on a complaint basis.

Tips for Businesses to Stay On Track

  • Donate unused supply to nonprofit charitable thrifts (exempt businesses).
  • Find a source for recycled paper and reusable bags: Talk to your distributor now to find bags that meet ordinance requirements.
  • Prepare your employees: Teach them to always ask if the customer wants to use their own bags or purchase recycled paper or reusable bags for a minimum charge of 10 cents per bag.
  • Inform cashiers that customers paying for goods with WIC, CalFresh, SNAP food stamp cards may be exempt from bag charges.
  • Understand the reason for the bag charge is to deter the use of paper bags and promote a shift toward the use of reusable bags to reduce waste. Stores retain money collected from bag charges. The 10 cent paper bag pass-through is exempt from sales tax.
  • Protective bags are exempt from bag charges.  These bags include bags for meat, produce, prescriptions, greeting cards, or bulk items.
  • Prepare your customers: Display Carryout Bag Fact Sheet and cashier tent cards.  The City will also educate customers through various methods.
  • Get help: The City provides businesses with technical assistance to answer questions and provide materials to train employees and educate customers. Contact the Public Works Department at PWWeb@CityofDavis.org or call (530) 757-5686 to schedule an appointment at your store.

 Frequently Asked Questions

Expand/Contract Questions and Answers

  • What businesses must comply with the Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance?

  • What are the requirements for restaurants?

  • How does a business comply with the Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance?

  • How do I know if my reusable and paper carryout bags satisfy the Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance requirements?

  • What qualifies as a paper carryout bag?

  • What qualifies as a reusable bag?

  • Are Biodegradable or compostable single-use carryout plastic bags allowed?

  • Where Can I Find Acceptable Bags?

  • Can plastic bags at least 2.25 mils thick be considered "reusable"?

  • Can my store give out reusable bags for free as part of a special promotion?

  • Can my business offer a discount incentive to customers who bring their own bags?

  • What bags do stores have to charge 10 cents for?

  • Do restaurants have to charge 10 cents for bags for take-out food?

  • Are there any plastic carryout bags I can give my customers?

  • What is the 10 cent charge on paper bags used for?

  • Can my store offer a sale providing a discount on the 10 cent paper bag charge?

  • Does the 10 cent charge per paper bag apply to everyone? Who is exempt?

  • Is the 10 cent charge per paper bag taxable?

  • Will there be a charge for small paper bags distributed at checkout, typically provided by small stores to their customers?

  • Which bags should I charge 10 cents for?

  • Are prescription bags subject to the 10 cent charge?

  • Can I continue to sell plastic trash bag liners, sandwich bags and other packaged bags?

  • Is there a law that requires me to put alcoholic beverages into carryout bags?

  • Can customers use their own carryout bag?

  • What can customers use as a carryout bag?

  • What if customers don't want to buy or bring a reusable bag or a paper bag?

  • Are reusable bags recyclable? Where can customers bring them to be recycled?

  • What are some examples of events held at City facilities that will be required to comply with the Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance?

  • What are the requirements for events held at City facilities?

  • Are vendors at City facilities required to charge 10 cents for recyclable paper carryout bags?

  • Who is responsible for enforcement of the Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance and what are the penalties?

  • Will each business be responsible for letting its customers know it will be participating in this Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance?

  • Have any other cities passed similar ordinances?

  • Who do I contact if I need more information?