Monterey Switches to Reusable Bags

The cost for paper bags at all retail facilities in the City of Monterey will increase from 10 cents per bag to 25 cents per bag. (effective Jan. 1, 2013)

ALL FEES COLLECTED ARE RETAINED BY THE RETAIL STORES WHERE THEY ARE CHARGED.
Here's a comprehensive list of FAQ Questions and Answers for both shoppers and retailers .

Bag Ban Point of Purchase

Here's what the ordinance does:

  • Prohibits all Monterey retail stores from providing customers with single-use plastic carryout (shopping) bags, including those advertised as compostable, biodegradable, photo-degradable or similar.
  • Allows retail stores to provide customers with any size recyclable paper or reusable carryout bags.
  • Requires retail stores to charge a minimum of 25 cents for paper carryout bags.
  • Requires retail stores to show all bag-charges on customer receipts; stores keep all revenue. The charge is not taxed.
  • Allows retail stores to provide carryout bags made of plastic 2.25 mils or thicker, with or without charge at their discretion.
  • Requires that paper bags to which the charge applies contain at least 40 percent post-consumer recycled fiber and display the minimum recycled content on the outside of the bag.
  • Promotes reusable carryout bags as the best alternative to single-use plastic bags.

Exemptions from the ordinance

  • Plastic bags used in stores for bulk items or to protect vegetables, meat, fish and poultry, frozen foods, flowers, deli foods and similar where moisture would be a problem are exempt.
  • Plastic bags for take-out orders from restaurants are allowed, though use of recyclable paper bags is encouraged.
  • Dry-cleaner, newspaper, and door-hanger bags.
  • Restaurants or take-out food establishments that receive 90% or more of its revenue from the sale of food that is prepared on premises.
  • Non-profit charitable re-users that reuses or recycles donated goods or materials and receives more than 50% of its revenue from the sale of them.
  • A retail establishment may provide a customer participating in the California Special Supplement Food Program for women, infants, and children one or more recyclable or reusable bags at no cost.

Definition of a reusable bag

  • A bag made of cloth or other machine washable fabric that has handles.
  • Durable plastic bag with handles that is at least 2.25 mils thick, specifically designed and manufactured for reuse.

Definition of a paper bag

  • Contains no old growth fiber - A minimum of 40% post-consumer recycled content.
  • Is 100% recyclable.
  • Printed on the outside of the bag in a highly visible manner the words "Reusable" and "Recyclable", name and location of manufacturer and percentage of recycled content.