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Expanded Reusable Bag Law Begins May 1

April 24, 2017

Oakland, CA – Grocery, drug and liquor stores in Alameda County have been covered by a reusable bag law since January, 2013, which has significantly reduced the number of single-use plastic and paper bags distributed at checkout. To build on this success, the law has been expanded to include all stores and restaurants in the county, starting May 1, 2017 for retail stores and November 1, 2017 for restaurants and food trucks. An additional 13,000 stores will be covered under the expanded law.

Beginning May 1, retail stores can only distribute recycled content paper and compliant reusable (thicker plastic) bags, and the store must charge a minimum price of 10 cents per bag with the charge itemized on the receipt. The bag charge is not taxable, and the store keeps the 10 cents to offset the cost of implementing the new law.

Residents who find local stores not following the expanded law should contact or 510-891-6549, and staff from the Alameda County Waste Management Authority will follow up with the store to provide technical assistance and help them come into compliance with the law.

The Reusable Bag Law for Alameda County was adopted by the Alameda County Waste Management Authority and is designed to reduce waste and litter, and keep plastic bags out of local waterways. More information is available at