Salem Plastic Bag Restrictions Affect Small Retailers September 1, 2019

Posted on August 28, 2019

Salem, Ore. — To protect the environment and encourage shoppers to bring reusable bags, plastic carryout bags will no longer be offered by Salem retailers at checkout.

Beginning Sept. 1, new requirements that impacted large retailers on April 1 will also affect small retailers under 10,000 square feet.

All retail businesses, including grocery and convenience stores, apparel and department stores, and local markets are impacted. Restaurants and prepared food providers can still distribute plastic carryout bags.

The City law will remain in effect until January 2020, when statewide bag restrictions take effect under Oregon House Bill 2509.

The City of Salem website offers a number of different resources to help businesses and their customers implement the new rules to Reduce the Use of Plastic Carryout Bags, including:

Signs of different sizes
Frequently Asked Questions
Tips About Using Reusable Bags

As an alternative to plastic carryout bags, retailers can provide recyclable paper bags at checkout, charging a fee of not less than 5 cents per bag.

Any plastic bag without handles provided for use within a retail establishment to get products to the point of sale is still allowed. Examples include bags to:

Transport produce, meat, baked goods, and bulk items to the point of sale
Contain or wrap flowers, potted plants, or other items where dampness is a concern
Segregate food or merchandise that could damage or contaminate other items

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