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INFORMATION FOR RETAILERS

Bring Your Own Sac: Thanks for making Sacramento a more sustainable city!

SACRAMENTO IS SAYING GOODBYE TO SINGLE-USE PLASTIC BAGS

Sacramento is saying goodbye to single-use plastic bags. The City Council unanimously approved the Reusable Bag Ordinance Chapter 5.154, which will take effect in the City of Sacramento on January 1, 2016. Retailers can use these pages to find out which businesses are effected by the ban, learn what types of bags are accepted, and access resources and a toolkit for a smooth transition.

Does your business fall within ordinance limits?

All businesses in the City of Sacramento must have a Business Operation Tax Certificate. Use our business lookup tool to find out if your business falls within City of Sacramento limits.

As of July 1, 2016, unincorporated Sacramento County also has a similar ban on plastic bags. Visit www.byos.saccounty.net to learn about the County's ban, and if your business is within the County's jurisdiction. 

FIND OUT IF YOUR BUSINESS IS EFFECTED

The new rules only apply to certain businesses in the City of Sacramento.

A store is required to stop using single-use plastic bags if it is a:

  • Grocery store or market with gross annual sales of $2,000,000 or more and sells dry grocery, canned goods, or nonfood items and perishable items
  • Pharmacy 10,000 square feet or greater in size
  • Convenience store or food mart  that sells milk, bread, soda, snack foods, and liquor

A store is NOT required to stop using single-use plastic bags if it is a:

  • Retail store that does not sell food and does not have a pharmacy
  • Restaurant
  • Farmer’s market

CHOOSE THE BEST BAG FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Learn more about bag requirements, standards and vendor options.

Exemptions

Bag Exemptions

Small bags are exempt from the ban and from the $.10 fee if they are reusable bags or bags without handles used to:

  1. Carry produce or meat within a store
  2. Carry prescription medication dispensed from a pharmacy
  3. Segregate food or merchandise that could damage or contaminate other food or merchandise

Customers can bring any kind of bag into the store for use in carrying their purchases from the store. They are not required to purchase a paper or reusable bag from a store.

Customer Exemptions

Participants in WIC (Women, Infant & Children's) program or in CalFresh using a voucher or EBT card may not be charged for bags. Stores can choose which reusable or paper bags to offer these customers free of charge. 

ACCESS RESOURCES

Your Action Plan for the Ban

Follow our step-by-step guide below to help you prepare for this change.

  1. Research and stock bags that meet the standards and are the best for your store and customers. A list of standards and bag vendors is available. Don't be left with extra plastic bags - start phasing out your use of plastic now so you aren't left with bags that are completely banned in January.
  2. Program your registers for the individual sale of bags. Store receipts must show the number of bags sold and the total amount charged for the bags.
  3. Notify customers that the ban will be coming. Post informational signs that remind your customers to bring their reusable bags. Access the City’s “Bring Your Own Sac” tool kit below to print out posters and counter pop-ups you can post at your business. 
  4. Train your employees about the ban including what bags require the $.10 fee, how best to fill a reusable bag and which customers may be exempt from the $.10 charge.
  5. Start keeping accurate records of bag sales. Stores need to keep records from date of sale, for three years, of the total number of recycled paper bags and reusable bags provided and the total amount of monies collected for recycled paper bags. Stores will need to make these records available to the city upon request. 


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Why Comply?

This is a new City of Sacramento law. The goal is to reduce waste and the harm plastic bags cause our environment. The City plans to help businesses adjust through education and resources. If a store ignores the ban, citations and fines could be issued starting at $250.

A statewide plastic bag ban has been passed by the Legislature and is subject to referendum in 2016. By taking measures now you will already be in compliance if the statewide ban is upheld by voters.