Reusable Bag Ordinance Overview

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Photo of no plastic bags

In March 2013, the City Council approved the Reusable Bag Ordinance, which seeks to reduce the likelihood that single-use plastic carryout bags will enter the environment and thereby improve the aesthetics of the City's beaches, parks, and other public spaces. The Ordinance prohibits the distribution of plastic carryout bags in commercial point of sale purchases within the City of Huntington Beach and establishes a 10 cent charge on the issuance of recyclable paper carryout bags at all grocery stores, supermarkets, drug stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, food marts and farmer's markets. Please see below for answers to the most common questions regarding the Reusable Bag Ordinance.

Photo of reusable bag

When does the Reusable Bag Ordinance take effect?

Implementation of the Ordinance becomes official on Friday, November 1, 2013, and affected retail stores as described below are required to comply with the provisions of the Ordinance prohibiting the distribution of single-use plastic carryout bags.

What stores must comply with the Reusable Bag Ordinance?

The following retail establishments located within the boundaries of the City of Huntington Beach that fall into any of the following categories:

The Reusable Bag Ordinance initiates a community-wide shift from the use of plastic and paper carryout bags and promotes the use of reusable bags for retail customers in Huntington Beach therefore protecting our beaches and oceans

  • Full-line, self-service retail: A store with gross annual sales of two million dollars ($2,000,000), or more, that sells a line of dry grocery, canned goods, or nonfood items and some perishable items (i.e. Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Target);
  • Large Retail Store: A store of at least ten thousand (10,000) square feet of retail space that generates sales or use tax pursuant to the Reusable Bag Ordinance and has a licensed pharmacy; or
  • Drug stores, pharmacies, supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience food stores, food marts, or other entities engaged in the retail sale of a limited line of goods that includes milk, bread, soda and snack foods, including those stores with a Type 20 or 21 license issued by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (i.e. CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Albertsons, Ralphs, Vons, 7-11 and other convenience or liquor stores).

Download Reusable Bag Ordinance FAQs handout

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