Bag Bans

San Jose, Calif. Single-Use Bag Ban

The City of San Jose, generally considered the capital of Silicon Valley in California, passed a plastic bag ban by a vote of 10 to 1 on December 14, 2010. The San Jose plastic bag ban will go into effect as of January 1, 2012 and is generally thought to have raised the bar for city-based plastic bag bans in the United States, as it requires ALL retailers to eliminate plastic bags.

Proposed Bag Ban - London

Plastic bags LondonIn 2007, London came very close to being the first large city in the world to ban plastic bags.

San Francisco Bag Ban and Fee

San Francisco has had a ban on plastic bags and a fee on single-use bags in effect since 2005. Following is the official language of the resolution. A complete copy of documentation is available here.


Resolution No. 007-04-COE - January 25, 2005 




Marin County Bag Ban

On January 4th, the Marin County Board of Supervisors planned to vote on a single-use bag ordinance, and was stalled by an industry-funded group called Save the Plastic Bag, which raised the issue that the county had not conducted an Environmental Impact Report (EIR).

Maui (Hawaii) Bag Ban

The island of Maui, in the state of Hawaii, voted in August 2008 to pass a bag ban, which went into effect January 11, 2011. Although the island was the first in the state to ban the bag, it gave retailers additional time to phase out plastic bags and stock up on reusables.

The ban (read full text here) prohibits any business, not just supermarkets, from using plastic bags.

Kauai County (Hawaii) Plastic Bag Ban

KauaiKauai County voted in 2009 to institute a ban on plastic bags throughout the county.

By a vote of 4 to 2, the Council passed Bill No. 2322, Draft 2, Ordinance No. 885. It was approved by the Mayor and became law on October 12, 2009. The ordinance applies to all retail businesses in the county.

Victoria (Australia) Bag Tax

In 2006, the Australian state of Victoria, home to the cultural center of Melbourne, pledged to place a 10-cent tax on plastic bags in an effort to curb use of the bags in the state.

It took two years for that pledge to materialize into a trial of the tax, run voluntarily by retailers and overseen by the Government.


Proposed Bag, Bottle, Styrofoam Ban - Marshall Islands

In late 2009, Marshall Islands Senator Gerald Zackios, a former foreign minister, introduced legislation that aims to ban non-biodegradable plastic and Styrofoam items, citing the land and marine environmental hazards posed by both.

The ban, or a modified version of it, is still being discussed in New Zealand's Parliament.


Ontario Liquor Stores Plastic Bag Ban

The Liquor Control Board of Ontario(LCBO) announced in late 2008 its plan to phase out plastic bags at stores in the province. At the time, the LCBO estimated liquor stores in the province were giving out 80 million plastic bags per year. The ban followed a similar move by liquor stores in Nova Scotia, Quebec and Manitoba.

Maharashtra (India) State Plastic Bag Ban

Linking discarded plastic bags to a calamitous flood in the capital city of Mumbai, in 2005 the Maharashtra state government banned plastic bags throughout the state. The Chief Minister, Vilasrao Deshmukh, told reporters that his Cabinet would impose a total ban on the use of all types of plastic bags throughout the State. Offenders would be punished under a Central environment protection law.

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