Phase-out of lightweight plastic bags

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Phase out of lightweight plastic bags around the world
Plastic bags banned;
A tax on some plastic bags;
Voluntary tax agreement;
Partial tax or ban (municipal or regional levels)

In many countries of the world, there has been a phase-out of lightweight plastic bags.[1] Single-use plastic shopping bags, commonly made from low-density polyethylene (LDPE) plastic,[2] 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),[3] 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.[1][4] The Bangladesh government was the first to do so in 2002, imposing a total ban on the bag.[5] Such a ban has also been applied in countries or regions such as Rwanda, China, Taiwan, Macedonia and most recently (August 2017) Kenya.[4] 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, and Myanmar.[1] Concurrently with the reduction in lightweight plastic bags, shops have introduced reusable shopping bags.

Contents

Issues[edit]

Plastic waste on the mounds of garbage in the Philippines.

Plastic bags cause many minor and major ecological and environmental issues. The most general issue with plastic bags is the amount of waste produced. Many plastic bags end up on streets and subsequently pollute major water sources, rivers, and streams.

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.[2]

Two primary kinds of direct damage to wildlife are entanglement and ingestion.[6] Wildlife animals or birds can become entangled. When the animals or birds are entangled they drown or cannot fly due to entanglement.[7] Plastic bags are often ingested by animals because they cannot distinguish whether is it food or not. As a result, it clogs their intestines which results in death by starvation.[7] 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 year[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.[8] The term "white pollution" has been coined in China to describe the local and global effects of discarded plastic bags upon the environment.[9]

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.[10] Research shows the average operating "lifespan" of a plastic bag to be approximately 20 minutes.[citation needed] Plastic bags can last in landfill – an anaerobic environment – for up to 1000 years.[citation needed]

The plastic bags that gets dumped in the Pacific Ocean would all eventually end up in the Great Pacific garbage patch. 80% of the plastic waste comes from land while the rest of the 20% comes from oil platforms and ships. The waste in the Pacific Ocean are bigger than dumps in land which makes it an issue for marine animals.[11] This large amount of plastic waste in the Pacific Ocean could be eaten up by marine animals, and this will end up blocking up their breathing passages and stomach. Plastic bags not only stay in the Great Pacific garbage patch, it could be washed back up to shore in beaches around the world.[12]

Regional developments[edit]

Africa[edit]

Benin[edit]

Benin reportedly banned plastic bags in November 2017.[13]

Botswana[edit]

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.[14]

Cameroon[edit]

Cameroon outlawed disposable plastic in April 2014.[15] There are problems considering black market activities.

Chad[edit]

There is a plastic bag ban in N'Djamena.[16]

Republic of the Congo[edit]

The Republic of the Congo banned plastic bags in 2011.[17]

Eritrea[edit]

Eritrea banned plastic bags in 2005.[18]

Ethiopia[edit]

Ethiopia has banned the production of certain types of plastic bags.[19]

Gabon[edit]

Gabon has had a plastic bag ban since 2010.[20]

Gambia[edit]

Gambia banned plastic bags in 2015.[21]

Guinea-Bissau[edit]

Guinea-Bissau banned plastic bags in 2016, but the legislation has been poorly enforced.[22]

Ivory Coast[edit]

Ivory Coast banned plastic bags in 2014, but it was controversial with water sellers.[23]

Kenya[edit]

Kenya tried to ban manufacture and import of plastic bags in the year 2007 and 2011 as a way to protect the environment.[24] The 2007 and 2011 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.[25] In 2017 the cabinet secretary of Environment and Natural resources, Prof Judy Wakhungu banned use, manufacture and importation of all plastic bags used for commercial and household packaging under Gazette notice number 2356.[26] On 28 August 2017 Kenya begun implementing a countrywide ban of single-use plastic bags.Primary packaging bags, hospital waste bags, and garbage bin liners having been exempted from the ban.The ban has been hailed to be amongst the most stringent in the world. This includes a decision to imprison anyone involved in the creation or import of plastic bags for upwards of four years or will be forced to pay a fine between $19,000 and $38,000.[27] Kenya joins more than 40 other countries to ban plastic bags.The government has promised to ban disposable plastic items in the near future [28]

Madagascar[edit]

Madagascar introduced a plastic bag ban in 2015.[29]

Malawi[edit]

Malawi introduced a plastic bag ban in 2015.[30]

Mali[edit]

Mali has banned plastic bags.[31]

Mauritania[edit]

Mauritania banned the use, manufacture and import of plastic bags from January 2013 as a way to protect the environment, livestock, and marine species.[32]

Morocco[edit]

Morocco passed a law in October 2015 banning the use of plastic bags nationwide. The law officially came into effect on 1 July 2016. Before the ban, Morocco was the 2nd largest consumer of plastic bags in Africa and the second in the world per capita after the United States.[33]

Mozambique[edit]

Mozambique has had a plastic bag charge since 5 February 2016.[34]

Niger[edit]

Niger has a plastic bag ban in force.[35]

Rwanda[edit]

Rwanda prohibited shops from giving away plastic bags to their customers in 2004.[36] 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.[37] The Rwandan government gave tax breaks for companies to recycle instead of manufacture plastic bags, and created a new market for environmentally friendly bags.[37] The lack of plastic bags has made Rwandan cities such as Kigali cleaner.[37]

Senegal[edit]

Senegal has banned plastic bags in April 2015.[38]

Somalia[edit]

Plastic bags were banned in the self-declared Republic of Somaliland on 1 March 2005 after a 120-day grace period that the government had given to the public to get rid of their stocks. The Ministry of Trade and Industries announced the cabinet decision in a decree titled: "Banning importation, production and use of plastic bags in the country". The bags had been nicknamed "the Hargeysa flower", as many of them ended up being blown around and getting stuck in trees and shrubs, posing a danger to livestock because the animals that feed on the leaves often ingest the bags accidentally. In 2015 the ban was repeated by Presidential Decree No. #JSL/M/XERM/249-3178/042015, again providing for a 120 days grace period to get rid of stocks. To ensure the implementation of the ban, the government constituted enforcement teams in 2016 to conduct special drives which launch probes into business stalls. At least 1000 men and women in uniform deployed into the main markets and shopping malls. The government announced fines against violators who continue selling plastic bags in the country.[39][40][41][42][43]

South Africa[edit]

Plastic bags were a major concern in South Africa before the bag levy was introduced in 2004. The bags were never banned, but a levy was introduced, payable by the plastic bag manufacturer. The thicker plastic bags are levied and although this move initially caused outrage with consumers and an initial decline in volumes, consumers use has continually increased to several billion plastic shopping bags every year. http://www.econrsa.org/papers/p_papers/pp18.pdf [44]

Tanzania[edit]

The Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar banned plastic bags in 2005.[45] Tanzania introduced a nationwide ban on plastic bags in 2006.[46]

Tunisia[edit]

Tunisia introduced a ban on plastic bag distribution in supermarkets starting from 1 March 2017. An agreement was signed between the Ministry of Local Affairs and Environment and large supermarket chains in the country to enact the first phase of a process aiming to reduce the consumption of plastic bags.[47] Tunisian activists are planning awareness campaigns to establish greener policies in the country.[48]

Uganda[edit]

Heap of trash including plastic bags in Kampala, Uganda

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,[49] they have not been enforced and have failed to measurably reduce the use of plastic bags.[50] The law is not well enforced.[51]

Asia[edit]

Bangladesh[edit]

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.[52] Plastic bags remain a big problem for sewerage system and waterways.

Bhutan[edit]

Bhutan has banned plastic bags, but the legislation has not been very effective so far.[53]

Cambodia[edit]

Cambodia passed the legislation to impose plastic bag tax in October 2017. Supermarkets now are charging customers 400 Riels (10 US cents) per plastic bag should they need one.[54]

China[edit]

A total plastic bag ban on ultra thin plastic bags and a fee on plastic bags was introduced in China on 1 June 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 clearly indicate, 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.[55]

Hong Kong[edit]

Hong Kong forbids retailers from giving plastic bags under a certain thickness and for free.[4] A 50 cent 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.[56] Signs show that Hong Kong is phasing out the use of plastic bags at a dramatic rate.

A sign proclaiming that polythene bags thinner than 30 µm are prohibited in Kasaragod, Kerala, India.

India[edit]

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.[4][57] However, enforcement remains a problem.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has also passed regulation to ban all polythene bags less than 50 microns on 18 March 2016[58]. Due to poor implementation of this regulation, regional authorities(states and municipal corporations), have had to implement their own regulation.

In 2016, Sikkim, India's first fully organic state,[59] 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.[60]

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.[61][62] The state of Goa has banned bags up to 40 µm thick,[63] while the city of Mumbai bans bags below a minimum thickness to 50 µm.[64]

The state Government of Maharashtra banned plastic starting 23 June 2018.[65]

Indonesia[edit]

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.200 and Rp.5,000 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.[66]

Israel[edit]

Since January 2017, large retailers are required to charge consumers for plastic bags with handles, at NIS 0.10 for each bag. The tax revenues will be used to fund public waste-management programs.[citation needed] The average use of plastic bags in Israel in 2014 was 275 per person per year.[67] Four months after the law came into force, the number of disposable plastic bags distributed by retailers subject to the law had dropped by 80%.[68]

Japan[edit]

Legislation in Japan varies by region, from outright bans to none at all.[69]

Kazakhstan[edit]

Kazakhstan is considering a plastic bag ban.[70]

Kyrgyzstan[edit]

Kyrgyzstan is considering a plastic bag ban.[71]

Malaysia[edit]

A tax on plastic bags applies in Penang,[72] while a similar tax in the state of Selangor applies only on Saturdays, since 2011.[73]

Myanmar[edit]

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.

Nepal[edit]

Nepal has banned plastic bags, but the legislation is poorly enforced.[74]

Pakistan[edit]

There are plastic bag bans in parts of Pakistan, but there is poor enforcement.[75]

Philippines[edit]

There is a plastic bag ban in Manila, but it is poorly enforced.[76]

Sri Lanka[edit]

Sri Lanka banned plastic bags in 2017 due to a waste crisis.[77]

Taiwan[edit]

In January 2003, Taiwan banned the free distribution of lightweight plastic bags.[78] 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.[79] In 2006, however, the administration decided to begin allowing free plastic bags to be offered by food service operators.[80] In Feb. 2018, Taiwan announced plans to ban plastic bags in varying degrees, banned for in-store use by 2019, certain stores prohibited from offering bags by 2020, price increases starting 2025, then 2030 blanket ban of single-use plastic bags, as well as single-use utensils and containers.[81][82][83]

Europe[edit]

European Union[edit]

In November 2013, the European Commission published a proposal aiming to reduce the consumption of lightweight (thickness below 50 microns) plastic carrier bags.[84] 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.[85]

Austria[edit]

Austria has a voluntary agreement in place whereby retailers apply a charge to bags.[86]

Belgium[edit]

Belgium has plastic bag bans in place in Wallonia and Brussels, with bans set to also be introduced to Flanders.[87]

Bulgaria[edit]

Bulgaria has seen a significant reduction in use since applying a charge to plastic bags.[88]

Croatia[edit]

Croatia is planning on introducing a plastic bag charge in 2019.[89]

Cyprus[edit]

Cyprus introduced a bag charge on 1 January 2018, though shops were reportedly ignoring the new law.[90] Shops will be penalised for handing out free bags after 1 July 2018.

Czech Republic[edit]

The Czech Republic has a plastic bag levy in place.[91]

Denmark[edit]

In 2003, Denmark introduced a tax on retailers 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.[92] In 2004, a similar law was passed by the Inatsisartut in Greenland, which applied a recycling tax on plastic bags.[93] 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.[85]

Estonia[edit]

Estonia introduced a bag tax in July 2017.[86]

Finland[edit]

Finland applies a tax to plastic bags through a voluntary agreement.[94][86]

France[edit]

Following a National Assembly vote on 11 October 2014, France banned plastic carrier bags under 50 microns starting 1 July 2016. Produce bags are banned starting 1 January 2017. Re-usable or compostable bags are allowed.[95]

Georgia[edit]

Georgia has reportedly banned plastic bags, as of 2017.[96]

Germany[edit]

Germany imposes a fee on excess packaging through its Green Dot program, which included plastic bags.[97] In addition, all stores in Germany that provide plastic bags must pay a recycling tax.[98]

An agreement was signed between trade representatives and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety in April 2016 to reduce plastic bags, excepting thin bags for fruit and vegetables, bags for deep-freeze products and long-term usable bags,[99] resulting in many shops no longer offer such plastic bags free of cost since July 2016. Should the goal not be achieved, it is foreseen that a law may be passed banning shops from handing them out.[100] The political background to this is a recent change to the European directive 94/62/EG that obliges the member states to reduce the yearly number of plastic bags per capita down to maximally 90 by end-2019 and to maximally 40 by end-2025, whereas Germany had been using 70 bags per capita so far.[99]

Greece[edit]

A plastic bag charge was introduced on 1 January 2018.[101] Bags cost 4 cents each, which will then increase to 7 cents on 1 January 2019.[102]

Hungary[edit]

Hungary has a voluntary agreement with retailers whereby they apply a charge to bags.[86]

Ireland[edit]

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.[103]

Italy[edit]

In January 2011, Italy banned the distribution of lightweight plastic bags that are not from biodegradable sources.[104]

Latvia[edit]

Latvia will introduce a bag charge on 1 January 2019.[105]

Lithuania[edit]

Lithuania will introduce a bag charge on 31 December 2018.[86]

Luxembourg[edit]

Luxembourg applies a tax to plastic bags.[94]

Malta[edit]

Malta has had an eco-tax on plastic bags since 2009, but it is poorly enforced.[86]

Moldova[edit]

The Moldovan parliament has passed legislation banning plastic bags. It came into force for larger retailers in 2017, and is scheduled to come into force for medium-sized retailers on 1 January 2018 and for small retailers in 2020.[106]

Netherlands[edit]

The Netherlands implemented a comprehensive ban on free plastic shopping bags on 1 January 2016. The ban has a small number of exemptions for unpacked food products which are exposed to possible contamination, such as fresh fruit. The target price for a plastic bag is €0.25.[107]

Norway[edit]

Norway has a voluntary agreement with retailers whereby they apply a charge to bags.[108]

Poland[edit]

It has been reported that Poland introduced a plastic bag charge at the beginning of 2018.[109]

Portugal[edit]

Portugal has implemented a plastic bag tax amounting to 10 cents (€) on single-use carrier bags, which led to a reduction of 90% in their use.[110] However, many retailers started selling thicker (reusable) plastic bags, which are not subject to the tax, for the same amount. Before the Portuguese government implemented this plastic bag tax, some supermarkets in Portugal had already implemented a 2 cent (€) fee on each plastic bag.[111] In Madeira Island where supermarkets implemented this bag fee, there was a 64% reduction in plastic bag consumption.[111]

Romania[edit]

A law was introduced in 2006 (law 578/2006) - and was later modified in 2011 (law 1032/2011) – that puts a mandatory tax on non-biodegradable plastic bags. The modification in 2011 reduced the tax on plastic bags and was regarded by some as a step backwards from environmental protection.[112]

Serbia[edit]

Serbia has a tax on manufacturers and importers of plastic bags.[113]

Slovakia[edit]

Slovakia has an obligatory charge for certain types of plastic bags. The charge was introduced on 1 January 2018.[114]

Slovenia[edit]

Slovenia plans to ban free lightweight plastic bags from 1 January 2019.[115]

Spain[edit]

Spain will introduce a plastic bag charge in 2018.[116] Catalonia has had a bag charge since April 2017.[86]

Sweden[edit]

Sweden has a plastic bag levy in place.[117]

Switzerland[edit]

In 2016, the two largest chains of supermarkets in Switzerland, the Federation of Migros Cooperatives and Coop, announced that they will progressively stop to distribute free plastic bags (at the check-out).[118] Both distributors announced that they will not make money with paid bags, but that profits from their sale will be invested in environmental projects.[119]

Migros previously tested the measure in the Canton of Vaud since 2013: they reduced the number of plastic bags distributed by ninety percent (and saved 100,000 francs per year).[118][120] Migros will be the first to introduce the measure across the country, on 1 November 2016 (the bags will be made with recycled plastic and cost 0.05 Swiss francs each).[118][120] Coop plans to introduce this in 2017.[119]

Turkey[edit]

Plastic bags are banned is some parts of Turkey[121] and a levy was scheduled to be introduced nationally in January 2018.[122]

United Kingdom[edit]

The Climate Change Act 2008 served as the legislative framework for the regulation of plastic bags in the United Kingdom.[123]

Wales[edit]

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.[124] July 2012 statistics released by the Welsh Government suggested that carrier bag use in Wales had reduced 96% since the introduction of the charge.[98]

Northern Ireland[edit]

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[125] 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%.[126]

Scotland[edit]

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,[127] although retailers are encouraged to pledge to donate proceeds to "good causes".[128] The charge is not exclusive to plastic bags, and includes biodegradable bags, such as paper.[127] 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 are exempt from the charge.[129]

England[edit]

England was the last country in the United Kingdom to adopt the 5 pence charge.,[130] with the levy taking effect on 5 October 2015.[131] Prior to the introduction of plastic bag regulations, various retailers participated in voluntary actions to reduce plastic bag consumption.[132]

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 publishes information yearly on the scheme, encouraging retailers to donate the proceeds to charities.[133][134]

In the first 6 months, 640 million plastic bags were used in seven major supermarkets in England, raising £29.2 million for good causes.[135] England reported to have distributed 0.6 billion single-use bags during the first half year of the charge,[136] 7 billion fewer than were distributed in 2014.[137]

To promote the growth of new businesses in England, retailers with less than 250 employees are exempt from the charge.[138] Opponents to the exemption of small retailers argued that this exemption would diminish the environmental impact of the charge.[139] In response to this criticism, in January 2018 the UK government announced plans to extend the charge to all retailers.[140]

North America[edit]

Antigua and Barbuda[edit]

There is a plastic bag ban in place in Antigua and Barbuda.[141]

Bahamas[edit]

The Bahamas government has announced a plan to ban plastic bags by 2020.[142]

Belize[edit]

Belize has pledged to ban plastic bags by 22 April 2019 (Earth Day).[143]

Canada[edit]

In March 2007, the small town of Leaf Rapids, Manitoba, became the first community in North America to ban bags.[144]

The Toronto City Council voted on 6 June 2012, to ban plastic bags effective 1 January 2013, and to scrap the city's five-cent bag fee starting 1 July 2012.[145] Industry groups have convinced city officials to include a grace period between 1 January 2013, and 30 June 2013, when no fines, only warnings, can be issued.[146] The bag ban and five cent fee (six cents with HST) have both been overturned as of 28 November 2012 and it's up to individual retailers if they want to charge for plastic bags.[147] Most stores, with the exception of a few national retailers do not charge.

Province/Territory Municipality Passage date Effective date Effect
Alberta Alberta Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo 10 April 2010 10 September 2010 Single-use plastic shopping bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 2.25 mils.[148]
British Columbia British Columbia Victoria 17 December 2017 1 July 2018 Single-use plastic and paper shopping bag ban.[149]
Manitoba Manitoba
Leaf Rapids 22 March 2007 2 April 2007 Single-use plastic shopping bag.[150]
Thompson 27 September 2010 31 December 2010 Single-use polyethylene bag ban. Reusable bags must be 2.25 mils thick.[151]
Prince Edward Island Prince Edward Island Province-wide July 2019 Single-use plastic shopping bag ban.[152]
Quebec Quebec
Brossard 16 February 2016 1 September 2016 Single-use plastic bag ban (including compostable)[153][154]
Deux-Montagnes 2009 Plastic bag ban[155]
Huntingdon 2008 Plastic bag ban including bags used for newspapers and flyers[155]
Montréal 23 August 2016 1 January 2018 Ban of plastic bags including biodegradable. Reusable bags must be at least 50 microns thickness.[156]

Guatemala[edit]

A few municipalities in Guatemala have banned plastic bags, including San Pedro La Laguna.[157]

Haiti[edit]

Haiti has banned plastic bags.[158]

Jamaica[edit]

There is a working group examining a state motion to ban plastic bags in Jamaica.[159]

Mexico[edit]

Mexico approved legislation to ban and fine plastic bags in August 2010. However, the legislation is not observed.[160] Mexico City banned plastic bags in 2010, but plastic bags remain one of Mexico's biggest pollution problems.[161] The city of Querétaro banned plastic bags in 2017.[162]

Panama[edit]

Panama's Assembly has passed legislation banning plastic bags.[163] The law was sanctioned by the president in January 2017 and retailers have until January 2020 to phase out their existing stock.[164]

United States[edit]

There is no national plastic bag fee or ban currently in effect in the United States. However, the state of California,[165] and the territories of American Samoa and Puerto Rico[166] have banned disposable bags. Over 200 counties and municipalities have enacted ordinances either imposing a fee on plastic bags or banning them outright, including all counties in Hawaii.[167] Other attempts at banning plastic shopping bags statewide (for example in Massachusetts) have not succeeded mainly due to plastic industry lobbying.[168] A few jurisdictions have chosen to implement a fee-only approach to bag reduction such as Washington, D.C. and adjacent Montgomery County, Maryland.[169] Some US states, such as Florida and Arizona, have passed laws prohibiting bans on plastic bags statewide in order to prevent local municipalities from passing their own bans.[170]

State/Territory Municipality Passage date Effective date Effect
Alaska Alaska
City of Bethel July 2009 September 2010 Plastic bag ban[171]
City of Homer August 2012 January 2013 Plastic bag ban.[172]
City of Hooper Bay August 2010 Plastic bag ban [173]
American Samoa American Samoa
American Samoa
January 2010 February 2011 Plastic bag ban for all wholesale and retail businesses.[174]
California California
California
September 2014 November 2016[165] Plastic bag ban for large retailers; 10 cent charge for paper bags.
All local ordinances (listed below) supersede this legislation.
Colorado Colorado1
City of Aspen October 2011 May 2012 Plastic bag ban for large retailers; 20 cent charge for paper bags.[175]
City of Boulder November 2012 July 2013 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[176]
City of Carbondale October 2011 May 2012 Plastic bag ban for large retailers; 20 cent charge for paper bags.[176]
Town of Crested Butte 15 August 2016 1 September 2018 Plastic bag ban. Paper bags must contain at least 40% post-consumer recycled paper content.[177]
Town of Telluride October 2010 March 2011 Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[178]
Connecticut Connecticut Town of Greenwich March 12, 2018[179] September, 2018 Plastic bag ban. Sunsets in 3 years. Paper bags must contain 40% post-consumer content and no old-growth fiber.[180]
Town of Westport September 2008 March 2009 Plastic bag ban. Defines acceptable "recyclable paper bag" alternatives.[181]
Washington, D.C. District of Columbia Washington, D.C. June 2009 August 2009 Minimum 5 cent fee for plastic bags.[182]
Hawaii Hawaii2
Hawaii County December 2011 January 2013 Ban on compostable and non-compostable plastic checkout bags. Allows plastic bags at least 3 mils.[183]
Honolulu City and County 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.[184]
Kauai County October 2009 January 2011 Ban on plastic checkout bags made with fossil fuels. Biodegradable bags allowed.[185]
Maui County August 2008 Ban on compostable and non-compostable plastic checkout bags. Allows plastic bags at least 3 mils.[186]
Illinois Illinois
Chicago November, 2016 1 February 2017 Plastic and paper bags from retailers are taxed 7-cents per bag. Tax does not apply to bags with a retail price of at least 50¢.[187][188]

Chicago repealed the ban it had passed 30 April 2014 that went into effect starting 1 August 2015. Reusable bags were defined as being at least 2.25 mils.[189][190]

City of Evanston 28 July 2014 1 August 2015 Bans plastic bags less than 2.25 mils at chain and franchise stores over 10,000 square feet. Biodegradable bags allowed.[191]
Maine Maine
Town of Falmouth January, 2016 1 April 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.[192]
City of Portland June 2014 15 April 2015 5-cent fee for single-use plastic (and paper) bags at pharmacies, and food and convenience stores, which is kept by the store.[193]
City of South Portland September 2015 1 March 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.[194]
Town of York 3 November 2015 3 March 2016 Plastic bag ban. Reusable plastic bags must be at least 3 mils.[195]
Maryland Maryland
Town of Chestertown 4 April 2011 January 2012 Plastic bag ban. Reusable plastic bags must be at least 2.25 mils.[196]
Montgomery County May 2011 January 2012 Minimum 5 cent fee for plastic bags.[197]
Massachusetts Massachusetts
Town of Adams 20 June 2016 30 March 2017 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 2.5 mils.[198][199]
Town of Amherst 3 May 2016 1 January 2017 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 3 mils.[200]
Town of Aquinnah 10 May 2016 1 January 2017 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 4 mils.[201]
Town of Arlington 26 April 2017 1 March 2018 (large stores) & 1 July 2018 (for all stores)[202] 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 Barnstable 3 September 2015 c. September 2016 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 3 mils.[203][204]
Town of Bedford 27 March 2017 1 October 2017 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 2.5 mils.[205]
City of Boston 17 December 2017[206] December, 2018 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 5¢ on single-use bags. Compostable bags allowed.
Town of Bridgewater 8 March 2016 September 2016 Plastic bag ban for chain and larger stores (basically 3000 square feet). Reusable bags must be at least 2.5 mils.[207]
Town of Brookline November 2012 1 December 2013 Non-biodegradable plastic shopping bag ban for larger retailers (basically 2500 square feet), and produce bags for large supermarkets (6000 square feet). Reusable bags must be at least 4 mils (as amended on 15 November 2016).[208]
City of Cambridge 30 March 2015 31 March 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. Compostable bags allowed.[209]
Town of Chatham 16 November 2015 1 January 2017 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 2.5 mils.[210]
Town of Chilmark 25 April 2016 1 January 2017 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 4 mils. Paper bags must contain at least 40% post-consumer recycled paper content.[211]
Town of Concord April 2015 1 January 2016 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 2.5 mils.[212]
Town of Dartmouth June 5, 2018[213] late 2019 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 1 mil.[214]
Town of Duxbury 13 March 2017[215] 2018 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 3 mils.
Town of Edgartown 12 April 2016 1 January 2017 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 4 mils.[216]
Town of Falmouth November 2014 May 2016 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 2.5 mils.[217]
Town of Framingham 12 May 2016 1 January 2018 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 2.5 mils.[218]
Town of Grafton May 2017 1 July 2018 Plastic bag ban. Paper bags must contain at least 40% post-consumer recycled paper content.
Town of Great Barrington May 2013 2013 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 2.5 mils.[219]
Town of Hamilton 11 April 2015 27 July 2016 Non-biodegradable plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 3 mils.[220]
Town of Harwich 4 May 2015 May, 2016 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 2.5 mils.[221]
Town of Ipswich 10 May 2016 c. August, 2017 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 3 mils.[222]
Town of Lee 10 May 2016 10 May 2017 Plastic bag ban including produce bags. Reusable plastic bags must be at least 4 mils. Paper bags must contain at least 40% post-consumer recycled paper content.[223]
Town of Lenox 9 June 2016 9 June 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.[224]
Town of Lexington 27 March 2018 1 January 2019 Plastic bag ban. Reusable plastic bags must be at least 2.25 mils.[225]
Town of Lincoln 24 March 2018 1 January 2019 Plastic bag ban. Reusable plastic bags must be more than 4 mils. Paper bags must contain at least 40% post-consumer recycled paper content.[226]
City of Lowell 29 May 2018 1 January 2019 Plastic bag ban. Reusable plastic bags must be more than 4 mils. Paper bags must contain at least 40% post-consumer recycled paper content.[227]
Town of Manchester-by-the-Sea April 2013 January 2014 Plastic bag ban. Reusable plastic bags must be greater than 2.5 mils.[228]
Town of Marblehead 5 May 2014 May 2015 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 3 mils.[229]
Town of Mashpee 17 October 2016 1 January 2017 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 4 mils.[230]
City of Melrose 18 December 2017 1 July 2018[231] Plastic bag ban. Reusable plastic bags must be at least 4 mils. Paper bags must contain at least 40% post-consumer recycled paper content.
Town of Natick 10 January 2017 1 August 2017 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 2 mils. Paper bags must have at least 40% post-consumer recycled content.[232][233]
City of Newburyport 8 September 2014 29 March 2015 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 3 mils.[234]
City of Newton 20 January 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.[235]
City of Northampton May, 2015 1 January 2016 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be more than 3 mils.[236]
Town of Oak Bluffs 12 April 2017 1 January 2018 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 4 mils.
Town of Plymouth 15 October 2016 c. August, 2017 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 3 mils. Paper bags must contain at least 40% post-consumer recycled paper content.[237]
Town of Provincetown 27 October 2014 15 April 2015 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 1.5 mils.[238]
Town of Reading 16 November 2017 2018 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags cannot be made of polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride, and must be at least 3 mils. Paper bags must contain at least 40% post-consumer recycled paper content.[239]
Town of Sandwich 28 November 2016 May, 2017 Plastic shopping and produce bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 4 mils. Paper bags must contain at least 40% post-consumer recycled paper content.[240]
Town of Shrewsbury 17 May 2016 1 July 2017 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 4 mils. Paper bags must contain at least 40% post-consumer recycled paper content.[241]
City of Somerville 24 November 2015 24 November 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.[242]
Town of South Hadley 10 May 2017[243] 1 July 2018 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 4 mils. Compostable bags allowed.
Town of Stockbridge 2 April 2017 2 January 2018[244] 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 Tisbury 12 April 2016 1 January 2017 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 4 mils.[216]
Town of Truro 5 November 2015 1 June 2016 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 1.5 mils.[245]
Town of Watertown 7 June 2016 1 July 2017 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 3 mils. Paper bags must contain at least 40% post-consumer, recycled paper content.[246]
Town of Wayland 3 April 2017[247] 2018 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 Wellesley 11 April 2016[248] 1 January 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 April, 2015 1 January 2016 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 3.5 mils.[249]
Town of West Tisbury 12 April 2016 1 January 2017 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 4 mils.[216]
Town of Westborough 17 March 2018 17 September 2018 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 Weston 10 May 2017 1 January 2018 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 4 mils. Paper bags must contain at least 40% post-consumer recycled paper content.[250]
Town of Williamstown 19 May 2015 November 2015 Plastic bag ban including produce bags and dry cleaning bags. Reusable shopping bags must be at least 4 mils.[251]
Town of Yarmouth 6 May 2017 May 2018 Plastic shopping and produce bag ban. Paper bags must contain at least 40% post-consumer recycled paper content.[252]
New Jersey New Jersey Borough of Longport 20 November 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.[253]
New Mexico New Mexico City of Santa Fe August 2013 January 2014 Plastic bag ban thinner than 2.25 mm.[254]
New York (state) New York
East Hampton Village August 2011 February 2012 Plastic bag ban.[255]
Village of Hastings on Hudson, Town of Greenburgh November 2014 February 2015 Plastic bag ban.[256]
Village of Mamaroneck July 2012 January 2013 Plastic bag ban.[257]
Town of New Castle 31 May 2016 1 January 2017 Plastic bag ban. Paper bags must be at least 40% recycled and carry a 10¢ charge. Reusable bags must be at least 2.25 mils. Minimum 25¢ charge for reusable bags at grocery stores, convenience stores and pharmacies.[258][259]
Village of New Paltz 22 October 2014 1 April 2015 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 2.25 mils. Paper bags must contain "a minimum of 40% postconsumer recycled content".[260]
Village of Patchogue 8 June 2015 6 September 2016 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 2.25 mils.[261]
City of Rye December 2011 May 2012 Plastic bag ban.[262]
Village of Southampton April 2011 November 2011 Plastic bag ban.[263]
Suffolk County September 2016 January 2018 5¢ fee for single-use plastic and paper bags. Reusable bags must be at least 2.25 mils.[264]
North Carolina North Carolina Outer Banks (Dare, Currituck, and Hyde Counties) June 2009 1 October 2010 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 2.25 mils. Paper bags must be at least 40% recycled.[265]
Oregon Oregon
City of Corvallis July 2012 Plastic bag ban; 5 cent charge for paper bags.
City of Eugene October 2012 1 May 2013 Plastic bag ban; 5 cent charge for paper bags. Reusable bags must be at least 4 mils.[266]
City of Portland July 2011 October 2011 Plastic bag ban.[267] Reusable bags must be at least 4 mils.[268]
Rhode Island Rhode Island Town of Barrington October 2012 January 2013 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 4 mils (as amended on 1 February 2016).[269]
Town of Jamestown 18 September 2017 April, 2018 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 4 mils.[270]
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico Puerto Rico October 2015 July 2016 Plastic bag ban.[166]
Texas Texas
City of Austin March 2012 March 2013 Plastic bag and paper bag ban. Reusable plastic bags must be at least 4 mils.[271]
City of Brownsville 15 December 2009 5 January 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.[272]
City of Dallas March 2014 January 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.[273]
City of Fort Stockton September 2011 Plastic bag ban.
City of South Padre Island January 2011 January 2012 Plastic bag ban.[274]
Washington (state) Washington City of Bainbridge Island April 2012 November 2012 Plastic bag ban. 5 cent charge for paper bags.[275]
City of Bellingham July 2011 July 2012 Plastic bag ban. 5 cent minimum charge for paper bags.[276]
City of Edmonds July 2009 Plastic bag ban.
City of Issaquah June 2012 March 2013 Plastic bag ban.[277]
City of Mukilteo December 2011 January 2013 Plastic bag ban.[278]
City of Olympia October 2013 July 2014 Plastic bag ban. 5 cent charge for paper bags.[279]
City of Port Angeles 3 April 2018 3 July 2018 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 2.25 mils. 5 cent charge for all carry-out bags. [280]
City of Port Townsend July 2012 November 2012 Plastic bag ban. 5 cent charge for paper bags.[281]
City of Seattle December 2011 July 2012 Plastic bag ban. Reusable bags must be at least 2.25 mils. Minimum 5 cent charge for paper bags.[282]
City of Shoreline April 2013 February 2014 Plastic bag ban. 5 cent charge for paper bags.[283]
Thurston County (unincorporated areas) September 2013 July 2014 Plastic bag ban. 5 cent charge for paper bags.[284]
City of Tumwater September 2013 July 2014 Plastic bag ban. 5 cent charge for paper bags.[285]

Notes

  • 1 The City of Fort Collins, Colorado passed a 5¢ fee on single-use bags on 19 August 2014, and repealed it on 21 October 2014.
  • 2 Although the state of Hawaii does not ban plastic bags, all of its local jurisdictions do, effectively banning them statewide.[286]
California[edit]

Californians voted in November 2016 to approve state legislation banning plastic bags statewide in Propositions 67 and 65.[287] Over 100 local laws with similar or tougher regulations will remain and supersede the statewide legislation.

Local laws governing plastic bag use in California
Region County Jurisdictions covered Passage date Effective date Effect
Central Valley Sacramento County Sacramento 2015 – March 2016 – January Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[288][289]
Unincorporated territories 2016 – April 2016 – July
Yolo County Davis 2013 – November 2014 – July Plastic bag ban.[290]
Greater Los Angeles Area Los Angeles County Beverly Hills[291] 2014 – 22 April 2014 – 1 July Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.
Calabasas[292] 2011 – February 2011 – July
Culver City[293] 2013 – May 2013 – December
Glendale[294] 2013 – January 2013 – July
Hermosa Beach[295] 2016 – April
Long Beach[296] 2012 – February 2013 – January
Los Angeles[297] 2013 – June 2014 – January
Malibu[298] 2008 – May 2009 – May Plastic bag ban.
Manhattan Beach[299] 2008 – July 2011 – July
Monrovia[300] 2014 – July 2015 – January Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.
Pasadena[301] 2011 – November 2012 – July
Pico Rivera[302] 2014 – October 2016 – July
Santa Monica[303] 2011 – February 2011 – September
South Pasadena[304] 2014 – October 2014 – December
West Hollywood[305] 2012 – August 2013 – February
Unincorporated territories[306] 2010 – November 2012 – January
Orange County Dana Point 2012 – March 2013 – April Plastic bag ban.[307]
Huntington Beach 2013 – April 2013 – November Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[308]
Laguna Beach 2012 – February 2013 – January Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[309]
Riverside County Cathedral City 2015 – July 2016 – February Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[310]
Desert Hot Springs 2014 – March 2014 – September Plastic bag ban. Small fee for paper bag.[311]
Indio 2014 – May 2014 – November Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[312]
Palm Desert 2014 – May 2015 – October Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[313]
Palm Springs 2014 – April 2014 – November Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[314]
Ventura County Ojai 2012 – April 2012 – July Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[315]
Northern California Butte County Chico 2014 – May 2015 – January Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[316]
El Dorado County South Lake Tahoe 2013 – October 2014 – February Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[317]
Humboldt County Arcata 2014 – February Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[318]
Mendocino County Fort Bragg[319] 2012 – May 2013 – December Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.
Ukiah[320] 2012 – May 2013 – February
Unincorporated territories[321] 2012 – June 2013 – January
Mono County Mammoth Lakes 2016 – March Plastic bag ban.[322]
Monterey County Carmel-by-the-Sea[323] 2012 – July 2013 – February Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.
Greenfield[324] 2014 – August 2015 – February
Gonzales[325] 2014 – July 2015 – January
Pacific Grove[326] 2014 – August 2015 – March
King City[327] 2014 – September 2015 – January
Marina[328] 2014 – August
Monterey 2011 – December 2012 – June Plastic bag ban; 25 cent charge for paper bags.[329]
Salinas[330] 2014 – August Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.
Seaside[331] 2014 – August 2015 – September
Soledad[332] 2014 – October 2015 – May
Unincorporated territories[333] 2014 – August
Nevada County Grass Valley 2014 – August 2015 – January Plastic bag ban. Small fee for paper bag.[334]
Nevada City 2014 – June 2015 – July Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[335]
Truckee 2013 – November 2014 – June Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[336]
Greater San Francisco Bay Area Alameda County Alameda 2012 – January 2013 – January 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.[337]
Albany
Berkeley
Dublin
Emeryville
Fremont
Hayward
Livermore
Oakland
Piedmont
Pleasanton
San Leandro
Union City
Unincorporated territories
Contra Costa County
Danville 2014 – December 2016 – July Plastic bag ban.[338]
Hercules 2014 – September 2015 – January Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[339]
Lafayette 2014 – December 2015 – July Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[327]
Martinez 2014 Plastic bag ban.[340]
Pittsburg 2013 – October 2014 – January Plastic bag ban; phased charge for paper bags until 25 cents in the third year.[341]
Pleasant Hill 2014 – August Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[342]
Richmond 2013 – July 2014 – January Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[343]
San Pablo 2013 – October 2014 – January Plastic bag ban. Ten cent fee for paper bag.[311]
Walnut Creek 2014 – March 2014 – September Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[344]
Marin County
Corte Madera[345] 2015 – July 2015 – September Plastic bag ban. 10 cent charge for paper bag.
Fairfax[346] 2007 – August 2008 – November Plastic bag ban. 10 cent charge for paper bag.
Larkspur[347] 2014 – May 2014 – November
Mill Valley 2013 – 21 October 2013 – 21 November[348] Plastic bag ban; 5 cent charge for paper bags.[349]
Novato[350] 2014 – March Plastic bag ban. 10 cent charge for paper bag.
Ross[351] 2014 – September 2015 – April
San Anselmo[352] 2015 – January
San Rafael[353] 2014 – March 2014 – September
Sausalito[354] 2014 – March
Tiburon[355] 2014 – September
Unincorporated territories 2011 – January 2012 – January Plastic bag ban.[356]
Napa County
American Canyon 2016 – January Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[357]
Calistoga 2014 – August 2015 – January Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[358]
Napa Napa 2014 – August Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[359]
St. Helena 2014 – August 2015 – January Plastic bag ban. Ten cent fee for paper bag.[360]
Yountville 2016 – February 2016 – March Plastic bag ban. Ten cent fee for paper bag.[361]
Unincorporated territories 2016 – January 2016 – July Plastic bag ban. Ten cent fee for paper bag.[362]
San Francisco City and County San Francisco 2007 – April Limited plastic bag ban.
2012 – February 2012 – October Expansion of ban to cover all retail stores in 2012 and all restaurants in 2013. 10 cent charge for paper bags.[363]
San Mateo County Belmont 2013 – January 2013 – April Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[364]
Brisbane 2013 – March
Burlingame
Colma 2013 – January
Daly City
East Palo Alto 2013 – April 2013 – October
Half Moon Bay 2013 – March 2013 – April
Menlo Park
Millbrae[365] 2012 – February 2012 – September
Pacifica 2012 – December 2013 – April
Portola Valley 2013 – January
Redwood City 2013 – March 2013 – October
San Bruno 2013 – January 2013 – April
San Carlos 2013 – March 2013 – July
San Mateo[366] 2013 – May 2013 – June
South San Francisco 2012 – December 2013 – April
Unincorporated territories 2012 – November
Santa Clara County Campbell1[364] 2013 – July 2014 – January Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.
Cupertino[367] 2013 – March 2013 – October
Los Altos1[364] 2013 – March 2013 – July
Los Gatos1[364] 2013 – September 2014 – February
Milpitas[368] 2015 – September 2016 – July
Morgan Hill[369] 2013 – October 2014 – April
Mountain View1[364] 2012 – December 2013 – April
Palo Alto[370]
2013 – May 2013 – July
San Jose[371] 2011 – January 2012 – January
Santa Clara[372] 2014 – September 2014 – December
Sunnyvale[373] 2011 – December 2012 – June
Unincorporated territories[374] 2011 – April 2012 – January
Santa Cruz County Capitola 2013 – January 2013 – April Plastic bag ban; 25 cent charge for paper bags.[375]
Santa Cruz 2012 – July 2013 – April Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[376]
Watsonville 2012 – May 2012 – June Plastic bag ban; 25 cent charge for paper bags.[377]
Unincorporated territories 2011 – September 2012 – March Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[378]
2012 – October 2013 – April Expansion of ban to restaurants.[379]
Sonoma County Cloverdale 2014 – February 2014 – September Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[380]
Cotati
Healdsburg
Petaluma
Rohnert Park
Santa Rosa[381]
Sebastopol
Sonoma
Windsor
Unincorporated territories[382]
Southern California San Diego County Del Mar 2016 – May 2016 – November (retail)
2017 – May (restaurants)
Plastic bag ban.[383]
Encinitas 2014 – September 2015 – April Plastic bag ban. Small fee for paper bag.[384]
San Diego 2016 – July 2017 – January Plastic bag ban. Ten cent fee for paper bag.[385]
Solana Beach 2012 – May 2012 – June Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[386]
San Luis Obispo County Arroyo Grande 2012 – January 2012 – October Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[387]
Atascadero
Grover Beach
Morro Bay
Paso Robles
Pismo Beach
San Luis Obispo
Unincorporated territories
Santa Barbara County Carpinteria 2012 – March 2012 – July Plastic bag ban; 10 cent charge for paper bags.[388]
Santa Barbara 2013 – October 2014 – December Plastic bag ban. Ten cent fee for paper bag.[389]

Notes:

  • 1 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.

Oceania[edit]

Australia[edit]

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.[citation needed] Coles Bay, Tasmania was the first location in Australia to ban the bag.[390] 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.[391] Western Australia and Queensland will ban plastic bags on 1 July 2018 and Victoria is considering a ban.[392][393]

In Australia, 6 billion HDPE bags were used in 2002.[2] Usage reduced to 5.6 billion in 2004,[3] and 3.9 billion in 2007.[2]

New Zealand[edit]

Despite various attempts, as of 2015, no laws have been passed in New Zealand for a fee or ban on plastic bags.[394]

Papua New Guinea[edit]

In 2015, Papua New Guinea announced a previous ban on non-biodegradable plastic shopping bags would be enforced starting 1 January 2016.[395][396]

Vanuatu[edit]

Vanuatu banned plastic bags on 31 January 2018.[397]

South America[edit]

Argentina[edit]

In 2012, the Buenos Aires city government allowed supermarkets to charge for plastic bags in order to discourage their use, which is said to have reduced their use by 50%.[398] In 2016 the city announced a full ban on the distribution of plastic bags in supermarkets and hypermarkets, commencing 1 January 2017.[399][400]

In 2009 the Governor of Buenos Aires Province, Daniel Scioli, approved Law 13868,[401] which mandated that by the end of that year, all non-biodegradable plastic bags should be phased out in favour of degradable materials.[402][403]

Other provinces like Neuquén, Chubut, Río Negro and cities like Rosario, Villa Gesell or Bariloche had already banned the distribution of plastic bags in supermarkets as well.[404]

Bolivia[edit]

Plastic bags are banned in La Paz.[405]

Brazil[edit]

Sao Paulo banned plastic bags in 2015.[406]

Chile[edit]

Some 80 municipalities have restricted plastic bag distribution, while some coastal and lakeside areas have banned plastic bags altogether.[407] In late May 2018, House of Representatives voted to ban plastic bags from major retailers nationwide, effective in a year, while smaller retailers will have a two-year window to phase out their use of plastic bags, during which time they'll limit two bags per customer.[408][409][410][411]

Colombia[edit]

Colombia plans to reduce the use of plastic bags by 80% by the year 2020, and completely eliminate their use by the year 2025.[412] On 29 April 2016, the Ministry of Environment passed a resolution banning plastic bags under 30 cm by 30 cm.[413]

From 1 July 2017, the Colombian Government applies a tax of 20 pesos per plastic bag, with a planned annual increase of 10 pesos per bag until 2020.[414]

Different methods of phase-out[edit]

Two of the most popular methods of phasing out lightweight plastic bags have been outlined above, including both fees and bans. The fee strategy is said to have all of the same results in plastic bag reduction as a plastic bag ban, with the additional benefit of creating a new revenue source.[415] The plastic bag fee method also protects consumer choice, which the ban does not.[415]

Recycling of plastic bags can be another method of phase-out. However, a big issue with recycling is that only 5% of plastic bags make it to recycling facilities to begin with.[415] Even when bags are brought to these recycling bins and facilities, they often fly out of these bins or recycling trucks and end up as litter on the streets.[416] Another issue with recycling is that different bags are made from different yet aesthetically similar types of plastics.[415] Bags can be either made of bioplastics or biodegradable plastics, and if accidentally combined in a compost, the bioplastics could contaminate the biodegradable composting.[415] These bags can also jam recycling equipment when mixed with other types of plastic, which can be costly to repair.[416] Costs of repairs rounded out to be about $1 million per year in San Jose, California.[416]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Xanthos, D., Walker, T. R. (2017). International policies to reduce plastic marine pollution from single-use plastics (plastic bags and microbeads): a review. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 118(1-2), 17-26. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.02.048
  2. ^ a b c d "Plastic bags". Australian Government. 5 November 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Plastic Bag Fact Sheet" (pdf). Sustainability Victoria. 9 November 2005. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d Kogoy, D (8 November 2010). "Plastic bag reduction around the world" (pdf). Marrickville Council. 
  5. ^ Onyanga-Omara, Jane (14 September 2013). "Plastic bag backlash gains momentum" – via www.bbc.co.uk. 
  6. ^ Marine litter – trash that kills (PDF). Retrieved 15 November 2016. 
  7. ^ a b "Plastic Waste and Wildlife". Plastic Waste Solutions. Retrieved 1 January 2018. 
  8. ^ "Getting+Friendly+Environment"+"The+Dell+Challenge"&sourceid=opera&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8 "Getting Friendly Environment". The Dell Challenge. Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  9. ^ Watts, Jonathan (27 February 2008). "China's biggest plastic bag maker closes after ban". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  10. ^ Kiener, Robert (1 July 2010). "Plastic Pollution". CQ Global Researcher: 157–184. 
  11. ^ "Facts". Garbage Patch – The Great Pacific Garbage Patch and other pollution issues. Retrieved 16 November 2016. 
  12. ^ Garces, Diego. "A staggering amount of waste – much of which has only existed for the past 60 years or so – enters the oceans each year". World Wildlife Fund. World Wildlife Fund. Retrieved 16 November 2016. 
  13. ^ "Stop Banning Plastic Bags, Please". 8 November 2017. Retrieved 4 January 2018 – via www.bloomberg.com. 
  14. ^ Johane Dikgang and Martine Visser: "Behavioral Response to Plastic Bag Legislation in Botswana", in Environment for Development Discussion Paper, May 2010
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  25. ^ "Nairobi city to ban use of plastic bags". Africa Review Kenya. 3 April 2014. Retrieved 5 May 2015. 
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  27. ^ Freytas-Tamura, Kimiko de (2017-08-28). "In Kenya, Selling or Importing Plastic Bags Will Cost You $19,000 — or Jail". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-11-28. 
  28. ^ Reuters (28 August 2017). "Kenya brings in world's toughest plastic bag ban: four years jail or $40,000 fine". Retrieved 27 November 2017 – via www.theguardian.com. 
  29. ^ Rajaona, Antso. "Madagascar: Prohibition of the use of plastic bags as from May 1 2015". 
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