Can retailers just “eat the cost” of large paper bags and not charge their customers?
No. The minimum 5 cent charge must be collected. It is meant to be a reminder to customers to shop with reusable bags, and for that reason the number of bags and total cost of recyclable paper bags sold must be shown on the customer’s sales slip. The city ordinance requires the charge for all large bags at all stores to ensure a level playing field level among retailers. The law says: “It shall be a violation of this section for any retail establishment to pay [for] or otherwise reimburse a customer for any portion of the pass-through charge.”

Show All Answers

1. What plastic bags are prohibited?
2. What stores does this apply to?
3. Are there any exceptions?
4. What about food vending trucks, farmers’ markets, street fairs, festivals, and events?
5. Is there a fee for all paper bags?
6. Can retailers just “eat the cost” of large paper bags and not charge their customers?
7. Are there any restrictions on stores, restaurants, or bakeries choosing to charge a fee on all bags?
8. What about smaller paper bags?
9. What about low-income customers?
10. Do stores have to keep track of how many paper bags they sell?
11. Is this transaction taxable?
12. What is the minimum recycled content requirement?
13. For those labels, are there any requirements for ink color or type size?
14. Does the 40% recycled content have to be post-consumer or can it be industrial?
15. Does the 40% recycled content rule apply to all paper bags?
16. Why did the City ban lightweight plastic carryout bags but allow heavy-weight, thicker ones?
17. Are stores required to charge 5 cents for the heavy-weight plastic bags?
18. What about hanging-garment bags?
19. Is there a requirement for the heavy duty plastic bags to have recycled content?
20. If restaurants are selling items other than prepared foods are the bags they use still exempt?
21. Are grocers’ deli counters exempt like restaurants with to-go food?
22. What about bakery goods?
23. How can I tell the city about stores using plastic bags after Nov. 1?
24. How will this be enforced?