Frequently Asked Questions
About the Plastic Bag Ban
Residents, visitors and businesses in the City of Napa discard approximately 27 million plastic bags each year, according to CalRecycle. A small percentage are recycled, but the majority end up in landfills, litter the landscape, pollute our river and creeks, harm or kill wildlife, and jam recycling equipment. Educating our community about the problems plastic bags create is important, but education alone is not enough.
In 2012, Napa Valley CanDo made an effort to limit use of these one-time bags by giving away reusable bags and encouraging their use, however a survey after their Better Bag Month bag giveaway and education program showed only a small increase in reusable bag use. On the other hand, according to Californians Against Waste, cities and counties that have instituted a single-use plastic bag ban (which includes a charge for paper bags) have seen single-use plastic bag use decrease by 95%, paper bag use decrease by 30%, and plastic litter in waterways decrease by 60%.
Across the country, cities and counties are instituting plastic bag bans in an effort to tackle the problem effectively, prevent pollution, and save money. This ordinance will reduce litter and waste as well as contamination in recycling and composting programs - in turn reducing costs to taxpayers in the City of Napa. In addition, the law will improve water quality in our rivers and streams, the bay and the ocean by reducing plastic bag pollution.
- What is the City of Napa’s definition of a single-use plastic bag?
- Isn’t there a law that requires me to put alcoholic beverages into a carryout bag?
- What other communities regulate plastic bags?
- What damage do plastic bags cause?
- What about recycling? Isn’t that a better solution?
- How will I carry my groceries home? I need those free bags.
- What is the benefit to me? What is the benefit to the community?
- Why is there a 10-cent fee on recycled paper carryout bags? Is it a tax?
- What types of retail establishments are required to charge 10 cents for each recycled paper bag?
- I use plastic bags to pick up my pet’s waste. What will I use instead?
- Do bag bans really work?
- Do plastic bags biodegrade?
- Why not switch to paper bags?
- Wouldn’t compostable bags solve the problem?
- What is the City of Napa’s definition of a recycled paper bag?
- What is the City of Napa’s definition of a reusable bag?
- Why are reusable bags better for the environment?
- Where can I get reusable bags?
- Are reusable bags safe? Won’t they harbor germs?
- What if I forget my reusable bags?
- What if I can’t afford to purchase a reusable bag?
- Why not offer plastic bags, but charge for them instead?
- How can I avoid the charge?
- What is the purpose of Napa’s Single-Use Bag Reduction Ordinance?
- What does the ordinance cover?
- What bags are affected?
- Are there any exceptions to this ban?
- When does the ordinance take effect?
- Who is affected by the ordinance?
- What about the statewide plastic bag law?
- Is an ordinance the same as a law?
- Why didn't this go on the ballot for a vote?
- How will the ordinance be enforced?
- What happens to businesses that do not comply?
- What is being done to educate the public?
- Where can I get more information?