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Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance

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Both the State and the City’s Carryout Bag Laws remain in place.

Customers are encouraged to bring their own bags when shopping whenever possible. Here are some tips on safely using reusable bags:

  • Leave your bags in your shopping cart or basket. 
  • If a store does not allow the bags inside, leave them in your vehicle.
  • Rather than have the grocery clerk bag up your groceries, ask them to place the groceries back into the shopping cart or basket. Bring your groceries to your vehicle and bag them there.
  • Wash your reusable bags frequently

On May 26, CAL-OSHA released health and safety guidance for grocery stores that includes information on safely using reusable bags.


The City of Davis Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance went into effect July 1, 2014.  

The City Council first adopted Ordinance #2422: Single-Use Carryout Bags Ordinance on November 12, 2013.  On May 27, 2014 City Council voted to amend the Carryout Bag Ordinance to exempt restaurants from being required to charge 10 cents for paper or reusable bags (Ordinance #2436 Single-Use Carryout Bags Amendment).

At ALL Retail Stores and Restaurants in Davis:

  • Single-use plastic carryout bags may not be distributed to customers at the point of sale.
  • Stores MUST charge a minimum fee of 10 cents ($0.10) per bag for paper and reusable carryout bags provided to a customer at the point of sale.
  • Restaurants are NOT required to charge a fee for paper or reusable bags provided for take-out food.
  • All paper carryout bags must be made from a minimum 40% postconsumer recycled material.
  • All reusable carryout bags must meet certain criteria for durability.

Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance Fact Sheet

Resources For Consumers

Resources For Businesses


    On December 6, 2011, the City adopted a Zero Waste Resolution in which the City strives to implement zero waste strategies. It is the desire of the City of Davis to conserve resources, reduce GHG emissions, waste, litter and pollution. The use of single-use shopping bags (plastic, paper, and biodegradable) have negative environmental impacts, including greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, litter, water consumption, solid waste generation and effects on wildlife. From an overall environmental and economic perspective, the best alternative to single-use plastic and paper carry-out bags is a shift to reusable bags. Studies and impacts from similar policies adopted in other jurisdictions document that restricting plastic bags and placing fees on paper bags will dramatically reduce the use of both types of bags.

    Despite their lightweight and compact characteristics, plastic bags disproportionately impact the solid waste and recycling stream and persist in the environment even after they have broken down. Even when plastic bags are disposed of properly, they often become litter due to their aerodynamic nature. The bags can be blown out of the landfill by the wind. Plastic litter not only causes visual blight, but can potentially harm wildlife.