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On Nov. 15, 2012, City Council voted unanimously to approve the expansion of the City’s plastic bag ban to include all retailers and restaurants by October 2013. The expansion takes a phased approach to banning all single-use plastic checkout bags in Portland and builds on the 2011 ordinance that banned plastic bags in grocery stores and large pharmacies.
The first phase of the expansion goes into effect on March 1, 2013, and includes retail establishments and food providers with stores greater than 10,000 square feet. All other retail establishments or food providers will be required to provide only recycled paper bags or reusable bags at checkout by Oct. 1, 2013. View the letter about the expansion of the bag ban that businesses received in early February 2013.
The approved expansion will even the playing field and ensure that all retailers and food providers be subject to the same regulation. As a result, fewer unnecessary plastic checkout bags will litter Portland's neighborhoods and natural areas. Portland joins other cities — including Corvallis, Eugene, San Francisco, Seattle and Austin — in banning all retailers and restaurants from distributing single-use plastic bags.
In the past year since the initial ban went into effect, we’ve seen a 300 percent increase in reusable bag use. It’s clear that many Portlanders have already made the switch to reusable bags. Read the full ordinance here.
Plastic grocery and shopping bags may offer short-term convenience, but they have long-term costs.
Documents relating to City Council actions
Tips for switching to reusable shopping bags