Single-Use Carryout Disposable Bag Ban

Sustainability initiatives are among City Council’s top 10 priorities for the year as part of its mission to preserve a high quality of life for its local residents, businesses and visitors.  On October 21, 2013, City Council adopted an ordinance restricting the provision of single-use disposable bags at grocery stores, pharmacies and convenience stores in Mill Valley. Encouraging the use of reusable bags is one example of the programs being implemented by the City to work toward the City's “Zero Waste” goal whereby no materials are landfilled, but instead fully recycled, repaired or reused by the year 2025.

Plastic BagThis ordinance also establishes a five-cent fee for the provision of paper bags. The plastic bag restriction does not apply to product bags (e.g. bags for meats or produce) or bags provided to a customer for prescription medication. Customers may utilize any type of bag that they bring to the store themselves or may carrying away goods that are not placed in a bag, in lieu of using paper and/or reusable bags provided by the store.

The single-use disposable bags ordinance became effective November 21, 2013, with a grace period established between now and the end of the year to allow stores subject to the ordinance to fully implement the bag ban and five-cent fee for paper bags.  Enforcement of the ordinance will begin January 1, 2014 with fines issued to those stores that are out of compliance. 

This ordinance will be reviewed by City Council approximately 6 months after adoption to reconsider the ordinance, including modifying the paper bag fee and/or applying the ordinance to other retail stores beyond grocery stores, pharmacies and convenience stores in Mill Valley.

For more information: download the City Council staff report and final adopted ordinance or contact Danielle Staude, Senior Planner at (415) 388-4033 /