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In November 2013, the Davis City Council adopted the Single-Use Carryout Bags Ordinance. The goal of the ordinance is to reduce the distribution of single-use carryout bags and encourage the switch to reusable carryout bags. The ordinance went into effect July 1, 2014. 

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.

Customers have choices available when shopping:

  • bring your own bag (reusable cloth bag, paper bag, or plastic bag)
  • purchase a paper bag for 10 cents
  • purchase a reusable bag
  • carry your items out of the store without a bag

For more information, contact the City of Davis Public Works Department at or call (530) 757-5686.

Frequently Asked Questions

Expand/Contract Questions and Answers

  • What does the Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance require?

  • What businesses are required to comply with this Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance?

  • Which retailers do not have restrictions on distributing carryout bags?

  • Why is there a 10 cent charge for recycled paper carryout bags?

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

  • Is the 10 cent charge per paper bag taxable?

  • What if I don’t want to buy or bring a reusable bag or paper carryout bag?

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

  • Are the bags that my Pharmacist uses for my prescriptions subject to a charge?

  • Are the bags that I get from the produce section for my fruits and vegetables subject to a charge?

  • Are there any bags that I can still get for free when I’m shopping?

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

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

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

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

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

  • Have any other cities passed similar ordinances?

  • Some stores offer a discount incentive to customers who bring their own bags. Is this still allowed under the Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance?

  • Why are reusable bags better for the environment?

  • Fun ways to reuse a plastic bag

  • How can I remember to bring my reusable bag with me?

  • Where can I get a reusable bag?

  • How should I care for my reusable bag?

  • Can my old single-use plastic carryout bags be recycled?

  • Can I recycle paper bags?

  • Can I recycle my reusable bags?