Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinances

SINGLE-USE CARRYOUT BAG BAN
The City of Los Angeles has passed two ordinances that seek to reduce and eliminate single-use carryout bags citywide.

  1. The City of Los Angeles adopted its first single-use carryout bag ban with $0.10 fee per recyclable paper bag in June 2013 effective for large supermarkets in January 2014 and expanded to drug stores, convenience stores, and other types of smaller food markets in July 2014. This ordinance (182604) applies to specified retail stores or “Stores” in the City, including large retailers (full-line self-serve retail stores with two million dollars, or more, in gross annual sales, and stores of at least 10,000 square feet of retail space that generate sales or use tax), and small retailers (supermarkets, grocery stores, drug stores, convenience food stores, food marts, pharmacies, or other entities engaged in the retail sale of a limited-line of goods that include milk, bread, soda, and snack food, including those stores that sell alcohol).
  2. In December 2022, the City of Los Angeles adopted a second single-use carryout bag ordinance (187716) which expanded the ban to additional types of retail establishments or “Shops”, which include retail stores (e.g., Apparel Stores, Farmer’s Market Vendors, Food or Beverage Facilities, Hardware Stores, or Open Air Markets Vendors, etc.)
    1. Compliance Deadlines
      1. Beginning January 23, 2023, the ordinance will apply to Large Shops having more than 26 employees.
      2. Beginning July 1, 2023, the ordinance will apply to all Shops.
If a Shop is part of a larger state or national vendor, the employee count includes all employees of that chain.

In 2014, the State of California passed Senate Bill (SB) 270, which updated Public Resources Code (PRC) Section 42280 to prohibit California stores from providing single-use carryout bags to customers at the point of sale, beginning on July 1, 2015. The state defined a single-use carryout bag as one made of a “plastic, paper, or other material that is provided by a store to a customer at the point of sale and that is not a recycled paper bag or a reusable grocery bag.” SB 270 “occupies the whole field of regulation of reusable grocery bags, single-use carryout bags, and recycled paper bags, as defined in this chapter, provided by a store, as defined in this chapter” (PRC 42287). The City is able to regulate retail establishments not encompassed by the state’s definition of a store.


ALTERNATIVES TO SINGLE-USE CARRYOUT BAGS
Stores and Shops shall offer or provide Reusable Bags to Customers, either for sale or at no charge. Stores and Shops may also provide to their Customers Recyclable Paper Single-Use Carryout Bags. A Customer shall be charged $0.10 for each Recyclable Paper Single-Use Carryout Bag provided.

Customers are also allowed to use their own bags. Customers are allowed to carry away goods that are not placed in a bag.


OBJECTIVES OF THE SINGLE-USE CARRYOUT BAN
- Reducing the number of single-use plastic bags currently consumed in the City of Los Angeles each year;

- Reducing the adverse environmental impacts associated with single-use plastic bags, including impacts to aesthetics, biological resources (including marine environments), water quality, and solid waste; and

- Promoting a shift toward opting out of bag use when not necessary, and promoting the use of reusable bags.


QUARTERLY REPORTING
Section 195.03D of Ordinance No. 182604 and Section 195.11E of Ordinance No. 187716 requires Stores and Shops to report to LA Sanitation & Environment on a quarterly basis the total number of Recyclable Paper Single-Use Carryout Bags and Reusable Bags provided, the total amount of monies collected for providing Recyclable Paper Single-Use Carryout Bags and Reusable Bags, if applicable, and a summary of any efforts the Store or Shop has undertaken to promote the use of Reusable Bags by Customers in the prior quarter.

Quarterly Reporting Period Quarterly Report Due By
Q1: January 1 - March 31 April 30
Q2: April 1 - June 30 July 31
Q3: July 1 - September 30 October 31
Q4: October 1 - December 30 January 31

This form must be completed and signed by a responsible agent or officer of the Store or Shop confirming that the information provided on this form is accurate and complete. This form must be submitted no later than thirty (30) days following the end of the reporting quarter.

Quarterly Report Form Click here to view the form

Scan and email completed and signed Quarterly Report Form to SRCRD@lacity.org or mail to: Sanitation/SRCRD 1149 S. Broadway, 5th Floor, Los Angeles CA 90015 or Fax: (213) 485-3671.


ENFORCEMENT
In accordance with the provisions in Ordinances no. 182604 and 187716, the penalties for violations of the two Single-Use Plastic Carryout Bag Ban ordinances are as follows:

  1. First Violation: Issuance of a written notice that a violation has occurred.
  2. Second Violation: A fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100).
  3. Third Violation: A fine not exceeding two hundred dollars ($200).
  4. Fourth and Subsequent Violation(s): A fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500) for the fourth and any subsequent violation(s).

MORE INFORMATION
The full ordinance text can be found here: Ordinance 187716 (2022), Ordinance 182604 (2013)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Click here to view the document

LASAN staff is also available to answer any questions and give presentations. Contact our Solid Resources Citywide Recycling Division (SRCRD) directly by calling 213-485-2260 or emailing SRCRD@lacity.org