City of Dallas - 1/1/2015
Bring Your Bag and Keep Your Change
On January 1, 2015, the Dallas Carry-out Bag Ordinance went into effect.
The Dallas City Council passed the ordinance to help improve the environment and keep our city clean. The City is currently spending nearly $4 million dollars to remove litter from our community. The ordinance is intended to encourage shoppers to use reusable bags to carry goods from grocery stores, retail stores & other locations to reduce the number of bags that can end up as litter.
If you need a bag from a store or restaurant,they can offer a single-use bag, a reusable bag (either for sale or not) or a carryout bag that is exempt from the single-use bag definition. If you get a single-use bag, the store will assess a five-cent environmental fee per bag. Some stores may assess a larger fee, but the ordinance only requires five cents. Ninety percent of that five-cent fee will go to the city for litter abatement and education programs, and 10 percent stays with the retailer to offset administrative costs.
Non-recyclable plastic bags, for example, are considered single-use bags, although other bags also fall under the ordinance. If you get a reusable bag (sold or not) you will not have to pay the environmental fee. At a restaurant, they can give you a recyclable paper bag to take your order away or they can provide a single-use plastic bag and assess the five-cent environmental fee. For something that’s particularly messy, like a salad with dressing on it or a container of gravy or soup, the ordinance allows for those to be placed in a plastic bag for moisture protection without the five-cent fee.
Reusable bags offered by stores can be made from cloth or other washable woven materials, paper or recyclable plastic so long as they meet certain requirements. However, any bag you bring with you to use is considered reuseable, since you are reusing it.