Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance-Update
As of September 1, 2012 retail stores in Millbrae were no longer able to supply customers with single-use carryout shopping bags, which include the thin plastic shopping bags with handles, and free paper bags. Single-use carryout bags, especially plastic shopping bags, tend to become litter because they are lightweight which results in them littering streets and landscapes where they blow down storm drains and into the creeks and Bay. Ultimately the litter is adversely affecting the local and marine environments and the City is under strict State regulations to reduce litter in creeks and storm drains.
The Ordinance applies to grocery stores and supermarkets, convenience stores, drug stores, clothing stores, office supply stores, home improvement stores and other retail stores that supply single-use carryout bags. The Ordinance does not apply to protective types of bags, including for meat, produce, bakery items, and delivered newspapers, or to bags for bulk food, live plants, small hardware, prescriptions, or dry-cleaned garments.
Many shoppers can now be seen carrying reusable shopping bags, which is the goal of the Ordinance. City staff has been conducting outreach on the new Ordinance and has been distributing free reusable shopping bags. Bring your reusable bag when you shop to avoid the $.10 charge on paper bags, which is required to encourage shoppers to bring their own bags. The stores are also required to have paper bags that contain 40% post consumer recycled paper. The stores retain the $.10 per bag charge, which also helps to offset the cost of the recycled content paper bags. The charge on the bags is not taxable.
To help with the transition to using reusable bags, the City will continue to distribute reusable cloth shopping bags made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. If you haven’t already done so, pick up a free reusable shopping bag while supplies last at the City Hall Public Works Counter, Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-5:00 pm. To learn more, please click on the link above or call 650-259-2444.