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The statewide ban on single-use carryout bags prohibits most grocery stores, large retail stores with a pharmacy, and convenience stores that sell food and alcoholic beverages from providing their customers with bags designed for a single use only, unless those bags are made with recycled paper. Instead, these stores generally must provide customers recycled paper bags or certified reusable grocery bags and must charge their customers at least 10 cents for each bag. The text of the bag ban statute can be found on the California Legislative Information page.
The statute contains several nuances and exceptions. For example, although stores generally must charge at least 10 cents per bag, a store may not charge a customer using an EBT card or WIC payment card or voucher for a bag. And certain bags are not subject to the ban, among them bags used by pharmacies for prescriptions, bags without handles that are used to protect purchased items from damage or contamination, and bags used to contain unwrapped food items such as bulk foods. Answers to frequently asked questions concerning stores subject to the bag ban, charges for bags, certification of bags, and enforcement of the bag ban can be found on the CalRecycle page.
An information sheet that may be posted by stores or used for education and training purposes can be downloaded here by clicking on the desired language: