Frequently Asked Questions
Regarding Ordinance No. 2148
Related to Single-Use Plastic Carryout Bags
On April 15, 2019, the Newport City Council adopted Ordinance No. 2148 regulating the use of single-use, plastic carryout bags. The effective date of the ordinance is July 1, 2019 for retailers with more than 10,000 square feet of retail space. For retailers with less than 10,000 square feet of retail space, the ordinance will become effective on January 1, 2020.
What Types of Bags Are Prohibited?
Single use, plastic, carryout bags that are provided to customers at checkout.
What Types of Bags Are Excluded from the Prohibition?
This ordinance does not prohibit the use of bags used by consumers inside retail establishments to:
- Package bulk items such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, candy or small hardware items;
- Contain or wrap meat, fish or frozen foods, whether packaged or not;
- Contain or wrap flowers, potted plants, or other items where dampness may be a problem;
- Contain unwrapped prepared foods or bakery goods; or
- Pharmacy prescription bags or greeting card bags; or
- Product or produce bags; or
- Tire bags; or
- Laundry-dry cleaning bags or bags sold in packages containing multiple bags intended to be used for home food storage, garbage waste, pet waste, yard waste, and tire storage bags.
Pass Through Fee for Paper and Reusable Bags.
There is a pass through fee for both paper and reusable bags when provided by a retailer. The purpose of the pass through fee is to trigger behavior change.
Retail establishments with more than 5,000 square feet of retail space are required to:
- Charge the customer not less than five cents per recyclable paper bag.
- Indicate on the customer’s transaction receipts the total amount of the recyclable paper bag pass-through charge.
- Charge the customer not less than fifty cents per reusable bag, except in the instance of a promotional giveaway.
- Indicate on the customer’s transaction receipts the total amount of the reusable bag pass-through charge.
- Retail establishments must provide a reusable bag or a recyclable paper bag at no cost at the point of sale upon the request of a customer who presents:
- 1. A voucher issued on the Woman, Infants and Children Program established in the Oregon Health Authority under ORS 413.500; or
- 2. An Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card, such as an Oregon Trail Card, to access Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits.
Retail establishments with 5,000 square feet, or less, of retail space may charge for providing recyclable paper bags but are not required to do so.
If such establishments do charge for recyclable paper bags, they are exempt from the requirement to note the cost on receipts.
Can I bring whatever bag I want to the store to avoid paying for a paper bag? Even plastic bags?
Absolutely. If you have stockpiles of plastic or paper bags, reuse them! You can use any type of bag, or even carry everything out in your arms – whatever works best for you. The pass through fee ONLY applies if you take a new paper or reusable bag at the checkout.
How Can I Get Free Reusable Bags?
Various community organizations are working to provide free reusable bags to residents. Stay tuned!
It is anticipated that various retailers will provide reusable bags to promote their businesses. So, check with your local retailer regarding possible promotions.
How Will The Ordinance Be Enforced?
The city’s enforcement of this ordinance will be complaint driven. The enforcement applies to retailers. Retailers not complying with the ordinance will be issued a warning for their first violation in a calendar year The maximum fines for subsequent violations are $100 for the first violation after the written warning in a calendar year; and $250 for a second, or subsequent violation, after the written warning in a calendar year. Complaints should be directed to the Community Service Officer with the Newport Police Department, at 541.265.4847.
Which Local Retail Establishments Have More Than 10,000 Square Feet of Retail Floor Space?
Examples of retail establishments that have 10,000 square feet, or more of retail floor space, and will be prohibited from distributing single-use, plastic, carryout bags, beginning July 1, 2019 are: Fred Meyer, Walmart, Safeway, Grocery Outlet, JC Market, Rite Aid, and Walgreens.
Retail establishments having less than 10,000 square feet of retail floor space will not be prohibited from distributing single-use, plastic, carryout bags until January 1, 2020.
An extension of not more than six months may be requested, and granted, if an undue hardship or practical difficulty is demonstrated relative to the implementation of Ordinance No. 2148.
The Oregon State Legislature Adopted House Bill 2509 Prohibiting Single-Use, Plastic, Checkout Bags.
Oregon House Bill 2509 prohibits retail establishments statewide from providing single-use, plastic, checkout bags to customers, except in certain cases. It also prohibits restaurants from providing single-use, plastic, checkout bags to customers. This House Bill also establishes certain preemptive requirements on local government effective January 1, 2020.
What Happens to the City’s Ordinance No. 2148 if House Bill 2509 Becomes Law?
How Do I Clean Reusable Bags?
Some bags are easier to clean than others – cotton or canvas bags can be easily washed, while the mixed blend nylons and polypropylenes can get pretty grimy. They can be cleaned with soap and water, though stains may persist.
I Use Plastic Bags for Pet Waste. What Should I Do Now?
Plastic bags will not disappear from your life. Reuse your plastic produce or meat bags for pet waste. If you get a newspaper, use the plastic newspaper bag. Dog waste bags can also be purchased from local retailers, and online at sites such as Amazon, and many of these bags may even be biodegradable.
Why do we not want to use paper? Isn’t it recyclable?
In theory, yes. However, for decades we have been shipping pulp and paper to be recycled in China. This is no longer an option. With the closure of many domestic pulp and paper mills coupled with a very low price for recycled pulp, a lot of paper is being stockpiled, or even landfilled, in the absence of a domestic paper recycling market. Paper is also more expensive for retailers than plastic.