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Retailer FAQ PDF Print Email

Bring Your Own Bag (BYOB) Ordinance - Retailer Frequently Asked Questions

1. When does the Single-use Carryout Bag Reduction Ordinance in the City of Napa go into effect?
As of January 1, 2015, all retail establishments selling perishable or nonperishable goods directly to the customer, such as food, clothing or personal items will be prohibited from providing single-use plastic bags to customers.

2. What type of retailers does this ordinance affect?
The ordinance applies to all retail establishments defined as any commercial establishment that sells perishable or nonperishable goods and is located or doing business within the geographical limits of the City of Napa. This includes supermarkets and grocery stores, department stores, clothing stores, wineries and tasting rooms, drug stores and pharmacies, local and national retail stores and mobile retail vendors.

3. How does this ordinance specifically affect me as a retailer?
As of January 1, 2015, you are unable to provide free single-use carryout plastic bags to customers at checkout. You may sell reusable bags or 40% post-consumer recycled content paper bags. Post-consumer recycled content paper bags must be sold for a minimum price of 10¢ each, and the sale must be itemized separately on the sales receipt and is not taxable to the consumer according to the State Board of Equalization.

4. What about the statewide plastic bag law?
In September, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 270, the nation’s first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. The state’s new plastic bag ban allows local ordinances already on the books (like the one in Napa) to remain in effect. The state law takes effect July 1, 2015, at large groceries and variety stores such as Wal-Mart and Target, and will be extended to convenience stores and drugstores one year later. Napa’s ordinance will go into effect on January 1, 2015.

5. Do I get to keep the revenue from selling the paper bag?
Yes, the cost pass-through reimburses retailers for the costs of providing recycled paper carryout bags to their customers. All of the revenue from the cost pass-through remains with the store; it is not a tax and none of it goes to the city. For tax information, review the statement by the California Board of Equalization for more information about the minimum price on bags.

6. Will any purchases be exempt from the ordinance?
Yes. The following uses are exempt from the requirements of the Single-use Carryout Bag Reduction Ordinance:

• Plastic produce bags used for vegetables, fruits and meats or loose bulk items such as nuts, grains, beans and pasta, distributed at grocery stores and farmers markets, and for bags used for purchased live bait
• Bags used to protect breakable glass items
• Newspaper, laundry or dry cleaning bags
• Pharmacy bags used to contain prescription drugs
• Bags used for the transportation of prepared take-out foods and liquids from restaurants and other food providers
Additionally, stores are required to provide customers participating in the California Special Supplemental Food program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and customers participating in the Supplemental Food (SNAP) program with a reusable bag or recycled paper bag at no cost at the point of sale.

7. Are there any plastic or paper bags that can be provided?
Paper and plastic bags, without handles, used for protective purposes within a store can be provided. Protective bags can only be used to separate food or merchandise which could be damaged or contaminate other food or merchandise when combined in a recycled paper bag or reusable bag. This includes bags used for produce, meats, bulk foods, and prescription medication. However, if a retailer uses “protective bags” exclusively, then this may constitute a violation of the ordinance.

8. Isn’t there a law that requires me to put alcoholic beverages into a carryout bag?
Since 2011, there has been no California law that mandates a retailer to provide a bag for purchased alcoholic beverages. There is also no law requiring retailers in unincorporated areas of the County to provide a bag for purchased alcoholic beverages, although nearby incorporated cities may have such a requirement. If a paper bag with handles is provided, the 10-cent fee must be applied.

9. What is the City of Napa’s definition of a single-use plastic bag?
“Single-use, plastic carryout bag” means any bag less than 2.25 mil thick and made predominately of plastic derived from petroleum or bio-based sources, such as corn or other plant source, and includes compostable, non-compostable, and biodegradable plastic bags. These are the typical and familiar plastic bags with handles found at most stores.

10. What types of plastic and paper bags are prohibited by this ordinance?
Typical thin plastic bags, with handles, provided at check out are prohibited. Paper bags with less than 40 percent post-consumer recycled content are prohibited as well.

11. What is a reusable bag?
A reusable bag has handles and is made out of durable materials specifically designed and manufactured for multiple re-use. Reusable plastic bags are at least 2.25 mils thick.

12. Can I provide my customer with a bio-plastic compostable bag?
No, compostable bags are not designed for multiple reuse and are not allowed in this ordinance. However, compostable bags for protective purposes are allowed.

13. Where can I purchase recycled paper bags and reusable bags?
Contact your current bag distributor or find a new reusable bag supplier or a recycled paper bag supplier and inquire about 40% post-consumer recycled content paper bags or reusable bags. The ordinance requires that the 40 percent post-consumer recycled content paper bags have printed on it the percent of post-consumer recycled content, the name and location of the manufacturer, and the words Reusable” and “Recyclable.”

14. How will the City enforce the ordinance?
The Code Enforcement Division of the Community Development Department of the City of Napa is responsible for enforcing the City's Municipal Code. For those who are persistently out of compliance, a warning can be issued and fines may be imposed, ranging from $100 to $500, based on provisions relating to enforcement of violations of code set forth under the Napa Municipal Code.

Additional Information

Check the City’s website at for additional retailer resources including tips for customer education. If you have questions, email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 707-257-9520.

Click here to download a PDF of Retailer Frequently Asked Questions.

Business Toolkit PDF Print Email
General Ordinance Details
BYOB color

• Applies to all retail establishments selling perishable or nonperishable goods directly to the customer, such as food, clothing or personal items
• Prohibits single-use plastic bags
• Promotes reusable bags
• Allows for the sale of recycled content paper bags for a minimum price of 10¢ per bag
• Allows for protective bags without handles



Retailer Checklist

• Read the single-use bag reduction ordinance (02014-10, which adds Chapter 5.65 to Title 5 of the Napa Municipal Code) for a full understanding of retailer responsibility and participation
• Phase out plastic carryout bags: use up your current supply or exchange for compliant bags before January 1, 2015
• Find a reusable bag supplier or a recycled paper bag supplier to order paper bags with at least 40% post-consumer recycled content.
• Provide customers another option by selling reusable bags
• Get ready to sell the recycled paper bags
• Program your cash register to show the sale of recycled paper bags on the sales receipt
• Charge a minimum of 10 ¢ for each paper bag as a separate non-taxable item on the sales receipt. For tax information, review the statement by the California Board of Equalization for more information about the minimum price on bags.
• Read the Retailer Brochure and the Retailer FAQ for more information regarding the ordinance

Train Your Employees

• Train employees about the ordinance criteria for recycled paper bag sales and protective bag uses; how to respond to questions or comments from customers; and on procedures for the paper bag charge.
• Provide employee information training that includes a review of ordinance requirements; download and print ordinance FAQs and communication tips for responding to customer questions at
• Place copies of the City’s customer factsheet at checkout counters for employee reference and to share with customers.
• Understand the reason for the bag charge is to deter the use of all single use bags (including paper) and promote a shift toward the use of reusable bags to reduce waste. Stores retain money collected from bag charges to cover the cost of providing bags; this charge is not subject to sales tax.
• Urge them to always ask if the customer wants to use their own bags or purchase recycled paper or reusable bags for a charge (minimum is 10¢ per bag).
• Eliminate unnecessary double-bagging and bagging of single or bulky items
• Fill bag to capacity, placing heavy items at the bottom and fragile items on top
• Inform cashiers that customers paying for goods with WIC, CalFresh, SNAP food stamp cards are be exempt from bag charges and should be provided paper bags free of charge if requested
• Protective bags include bags for meat and fish, produce, frozen goods, prescriptions, greeting cards, glass or bulk items (exempt from bag charges).
• Banned plastic bags do not qualify as protective bags unless handles are removed.

Reminders for Customers

• Ask customers “Do you have your own bag today?
• Remind customers that plastic bags are no longer available (as of January 1, 2015) and that a 10¢ fee will be charged for each paper bag
• Emphasize that the reason for the bag charge is to deter the use of all single-use bags (including paper) and promote a shift toward the use of reusable bags to reduce waste. Stores retain money collected from bag charges to cover the cost of providing paper bags; this charge is not subject to sales tax.
• Display placards at cash register and posters in windows to remind customers to BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag) 
• Reward customers who bring reusable bags and/or single use bags back to the store by providing reward points and/or store credit
• Have reusable bags ready to use at checkout stand if customers forget to bring their own bags
• Sell reusable bags near the checkout stand and other locations and consider giving a free reusable bag to customers who spend a specified amount at the store
• Print a reusable bag reminder on single use paper bags
• Promote the use of reusable bags in your company’s marketing, social media, and on your website; add a link to for those customers who may want more information.
• Consider donating the profits from reusable bag and/or paper bag sales to charities or schools to support environmental causes

Where to Buy Bags

Suppliers of Recycled Paper Checkout Bags
Suppliers of Reusable Checkout Bags

Retail Establishment Resources (How to Notify Customers)


Retailer Brochure (English)

Retailer Brochure (Spanish) 

Customer factsheet 

Bring Your Own Bag (BYOB) poster 8.5 x 11 

BYOB Placard 3-up 

Downloadable logos for use in your marketing 

Links, more resources and Information

Single-Use Carryout Bag Reduction Ordinance

Ordinance FAQs

Retailer FAQ

Setting the Record Straight About Plastic Bags and Their Alternatives

Napa Recycling and Waste Services

Californians Against Waste

Napa Valley CanDo

Clean Seas Coalition

Green Cities California

I Got My Bag

If you have questions, email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or call 707-257-9520.


Five-Way Intersection Project PDF Print Email

5-way-intersection aerialOverview

The City of Napa and Caltrans are partnering on a project study report to identify improvements to the intersection of Silverado Trail (SR 121)/Third Street/Coombsville Road/East Avenue, also known as the “Five-Way Intersection.” The study will evaluate existing conditions, forecast future traffic, and develop alternatives for a future improvement project. The construction timeline is yet to be determined. 

Open House Meetings

The City of Napa is hosting a series of Open House meetings to gather your input and present project alternatives. The first Open House was held September 9, 2014 with the objective to gather input and identify constraints and major issues at the intersection. The comments received at this meeting and via phone and email up to this point in the project can been by following this link. 

The second Open House will present several possible project alternatives based on input received at the first meeting, and the third and final Open House will present the preferred alternative. The dates, times and locations for the second and third meetings will be announced later. 

For more information, please contact Kelli Schimmoeller at 707-257-9266 or  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Napa Parks and Recreation - Kennedy Master Plan PDF Print Email

kennedy park master plan logo





Napa Parks and Recreation is embarking upon a Master Plan for John F. Kennedy Memorial Park.  We are inviting you to help plan the future of Kennedy Park. 


We invite you to join us at the City Council Meeting on December 16th in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 955 School Street, Napa. We will present two concepts that were developed from the brainstorming ideas taken from the Workshops and the Parks and Recreation Commission, and welcome additional input. We hope to see you there as we continue the development of the Kennedy Park Master Plan.


Kennedy Park is Napa’s largest community park, covering approximately 200 acres. The purpose of the Kennedy Park Master Plan is to develop a strategic planning tool for the Parks and Recreation Services Department that will provide clear direction and a vision for future planning and development of this large recreational amenity.

This community destination currently supports a variety of recreational activities including softball, baseball, BMX, remote control airplane facilities, trails, a public boat launch, picnic areas and a small community building.  The park will also be the home to the future Skate Park to be constructed in 2014-15. 

Development of the Kennedy Park Master Plan is an interactive process that include members of the community and takes into account the present and future opportunities for the park. In 2010, the Napa City Council adopted the City’s Parks and Facilities Master Plan which included the development of a site master plan for John F. Kennedy Memorial Park.

  WORKSHOP #1:  

On September 18th we hosted a Public Workshop and invited members of the community to help develop the vision for the future of Kennedy Park.   We extend our gratitude to the individuals that took part in this interactive park design workshop.  Thank you for your imagination, creativity, and input. 

We invite you to view the presentation regarding the Master Plan, as well as look at some of the great ideas that were discussed that evening. 

team work

In addition to the presentation above, here is a Summary of the Workshop, including the variety of ideas that were suggested for the improvement of JFK Park.

Click below to view the ideas developed by each work group:
OAK Group
PINE Group






WORKSHOP #2/Parks and Recreation Commission Meeting:

14030 workshop 2 pr commission meeting-rev page_01

Click presentation above to view PowerPoint Presentation from Commission Meeting

Kennedy Park Plan - Option #1
Kennedy Park Plan - Option #2


If you weren't able to attend the Public Workshop, we invite you to express yourself by participating in our online survey: 




Emergency Drought Regulations PDF Print Email

Due to ongoing drought conditions throughout California, the State Water Board approved emergency regulations in July 2014 to address outdoor urban water use.  Four specific water-wasting actions are prohibited statewide (Information card: English or Spanish).  An additional two water-wasting actions are prohibited locally under the City of Napa's Moderate Water Shortage Regulations.  Violations are subject to fines of up to $500.


runoffOverwatering lawns and landscapes such that excessive runoff flows onto adjacent property, walkways, roadways, or parking lots

SOLUTIONS: Redirect poorly aimed sprinklers; Repair broken sprinkler heads; Reduce pop-up sprinkler run times to 5 minutes or less and use multiple start times with 1-hour soak in between (cycle/soak method); Replace conventional spray nozzles with rotating stream nozzles.

drivewayUsing water to wash driveways or sidewalks

SOLUTION: Use a broom instead.

carwashUsing a hose to wash a motor vehicle, unless hose is equipped with a shutoff nozzle

SOLUTION: The City of Napa provides free shutoff nozzles to water customers!

fountainUsing water in a fountain or other decorative water feature, unless the water is recirculated

SOLUTIONS: Install a recirculating system; or Turn off the water feature.


daytimeIrrigating landscaping between the hours of 10am and 5pm, except for initial watering of newly planted landscaping or newly seeded lawns

SOLUTION: Schedule spray irrigation for early morning or overnight to avoid these daytime hours and their high evaporation loss.

drainDraining and refilling a swimming pool, unless needed for repair or to correct a severe chemical imbalance

SOLUTION: Refrain from draining and refilling pools or decorative ponds and lakes.



The City of Napa Water Division is required to locally enforce these prohibitions.  Customers are urged to avoid all wasteful activities listed above.  Violators will be subject to warning and opportunity to correct the violation.  Repeat violators may be subject to escalating penalties on their water bill of $100, $200, or $500.

REPORT WATER WASTE:  Call 707-257-9521 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


  • The emergency regulations apply to potable water served by the City of Napa water system.  They do not apply to recycled (purple pipe) water supplied by the Napa Sanitation District.
  • The regulations may be in effect until April 2015 unless statewide drought conditions improve.
  • While the regulations were not triggered by a local water shortage, every drop saved now puts the City in better postion entering an uncertain 2015.

Keep up the Good Work!
For the 2014 Irrigation Season (March through October), Napa's water demand was the lowest in 20 years and down 13% compared to last year:

irrig season


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