Single-Use Carryout Bag Ban

Q. When does the ban on plastic carryout bags take effect?

A. To help reduce waste and pollution, on January 1, 2014, certain large retailers in the City of Los Angeles will ban plastic carryout bags and require a $0.10 fee on each paper carryout bag requested by the customer. On July 1, 2014, certain small retailers will ban plastic carryout bags and require a $0.10 fee on each paper carryout bag requested.

If you are a customer that is on the California Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children or Supplemental Food Program, retailers affected by the ordinance will provide either a recyclable paper bag or a reusable bag at no cost.


Q. Are all shapes and sizes of plastic bags banned?

A. Plastic carryout bags at large and small retail stores affected by the ordinance are banned. Not all plastic bags are banned.


The following bags are allowed:  


  • Produce bags used for bagging vegetables, fruits and meats, and pharmacy bags
  • Restaurant bags
  • Hardware stores bags (e.g. Home Depot, Lowes and others)
  • Select retail stores bags (e.g. Macy’s, JC Penny, Ross, TJ Maxx, and others)


Q. What can I use for wet waste or pet droppings?
A. Consumers may consider using the following as an alternative to plastic carryout bags for wet waste and pet droppings:

  • Used bread or chip bags
  • Sandwich bags
  • Liners for cereal boxes
  • Other types of bags 

Q. What types of stores are included in the ban?

A. Large stores with gross annual sales of over $2 million selling dry groceries, canned goods, or nonfood items and perishable items or stores of at least 10,000 square feet of retail space generating sales or use tax and has a licensed pharmacy are included in the ban (e.g. Ralphs, Target, Walmart, Vons, Food 4 Less, 99cent Only Stores, Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, and others).


Small stores such as drug stores, pharmacies, supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience food stores, food-marts, and other entities engaged in the retail sales of a limited line of goods that sell milk, bread, soda, and snack foods, in addition to stores with a Type 20 or 21 license issued by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control are included in the ban (e.g. 7-Eleven, AM PM Mini Markets, and others).


The City of Los Angeles’ program is similar to the ordinances adopted by a number of local jurisdictions including the cities of Long Beach, Pasadena, and Manhattan Beach as well as the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.


Q. Where can I get reusable bags?

A. Reusable bags are widely available for purchase at select retail stores and markets. Reusable bags are also being distributed through select City-sponsored events and locations on a first come, first served basis and provided at no cost while supplies last.


Reusable Bag Image


Q. Who do I contact for questions about the Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance?

A. For questions, please contact the City of Los Angeles, Solid Resources Citywide Recycling Division by email at or call 213-485-2260.