Single-Use Bag Ordinance

The City of Richmond is dedicated to environmental sustainability and community health. In this manner, the City of Richmond has adopted a Single-Use Bag Ordinance to decrease the use of single-use plastic and paper bags. Plastic bags litter our streets, waterways, and shoreline. They do not easily biodegrade and are a persistent pollutant. Among the benefits of reducing the use of paper bags is reducing the consumption of energy and water that it takes to turn trees into paper. The City of Richmond aims to decrease the use of single-use paper and plastic bags and promote the use of reusable bags. 


The City of Richmond adopted Single-Use Bag Ordinance into the Richmond Municipal Code at the July 16, 2013 Council meeting that will:

  1. Prohibit the distribution of single-use plastic bags in retail establishments at the point of sale for all retail establishments except restaurants. This includes department stores, clothing stores, liquor stores, book stores, specialty stores, drug stores, convenience stores, etc. Note: Restaurants, take-out food establishments, or any other businesses that receive their revenue primarily from the sale of food cooked or otherwise prepared at the establishment would be exempt from the ordinance;
  2. Require retail establishments to charge to all customers a minimum of five ($0.05) cents for each paper bag distributed at the point of sale;
  3. Two years after the ordinance is effective, require retail establishments to charge all customers ten ($0.10) cents for each paper bag distributed at the point of sale;
  4. Paper bags distributed to customers by retail establishments must contain at least 40 percent recycled content;
  5. Provide for a penalty to the business owner of $250 for the first violation, $500 for the second violation within a 24-consecutive month period, and $1,000 for the third and any additional violation within any 24-consecutive month period (consistent with Chapter 2.62 of the Richmond Municipal Code);
  6. An exception to the ban on single-use bags would be made for plastic or paper bags that are used by customers or the retail establishment to protect or contain raw meat, fresh produce, food prepared at the establishment, or other goods that must be protected from moisture, damage, or contamination, and that are typically placed inside a carryout bag at the point of sale; and
  7. Be effective and enforceable on January 1, 2014.

Postcard English.PNGPostcard Spanish.PNG
Single-Use Bag Ordinance
View the Single-Use Bag Ordinance.

Business Resources
Please follow the link for a list of sample paper bag suppliers.

Please follow the link for a list of sample reusable bag suppliers.

Print a poster for your store.

Single Use Bag Poster English.PNG

Environmental Impact Report (EIR)
The West Contra Costa Integrated Waste Management Authority (WCCIWMA)/RecycleMore ( completed a regional Environmental Impact Report (EIR). View the Final EIR for the regional West County single-use bag ordinance, released March 2013. View theAddendum to the Final EIR. Find out more about the EIR process.

Please contact Mike Uberti at or (510) 620-6512 with any questions.