Reusable Bag Initiative

The Mission

Join the City of Frederick in taking steps to reduce waste and pollution. Starting Jan. 1st, 2024 you can participate in this change by replacing single

 use plastic bag with reusable ones. 

 

Why?

Single use plastic bags are not biodegradable. They take about 1,000 years to decompose in a landfill. Even then the bags are not completely decomposed, but rather become microplastics that occupy toxins and further pollute the environment. Plastic bags which are not properly disposed of further litter our environment and pose harm to animals and our waterways.

 

How?

In the City of Frederick retail establishments will no longer be permitted to provide single use plastic bags at the point of sale. (Some exclusions do apply) Customers are encouraged to bring their own reusable carryout bags or packaging with them when shopping. Businesses may also offer reusable carryout bags to customers.


Please join us in our efforts to improve our community through the elimination of the use of single use plastic carryout bags.

For more information, review the ordinance here. 

 

FAQs


WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS ORDINANCE?

The City of Frederick’s new Plastic Bag Ordinance or the Reusable Bag Initiative aims to improve the environment of the City and to protect the health and welfare of City residents by reducing the number of single use plastic bags in the stream of commerce, litter, pollution, waste and to encourage the use of reusable bags. 

 

WHEN DOES IT TAKE EFFECT? 

The plastic bag ordinance goes into effect on January 1, 2024. 

 

WHERE DOES IT APPLY? 

The plastic bag ordinance applies to all retail establishments within the City of Frederick.  

 

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR BUSINESSES?

On or after January 1, 2024, affected retail establishments shall not provide plastic carry out bags to customers at the point of sale that are not reusable carry out bags. 

 

WHAT DOES POINT OF SALE MEAN? 

Point of sale means the time or place at which a retail transaction is completed, upon pick-up or delivery. 

 

WHICH BUSINESSES ARE AFFECTED? 

Retail establishments include any store, food service facility and other for-profit or nonprofit establishment that provides bags to customers for the sale of goods, products, services, or a contractor that provide bags to customers upon the sale of a product. This includes: 

  • Grocery stores or supermarkets 
  • Convenience stores 
  • Corner Stores 
  • Fuel or gas stations  
  • Hardware and home improvement stores 
  • Specialty products stores 
  • Jewelry stores 
  • Florists 
  • Galleries 
  • Liquor stores 
  • Pharmacies 
  • Restaurants 
  • General merchandise or department stores 
  • Any other retail store or vendor, including a temporary store or vendor at a street fair or festival. 

 

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR CITY RESIDENTS? 

Plastic bags will not be provided to City residents when they make any purchase from a retailer in the City of Frederick. Residents are encouraged to carry their own reusable bags.  


WHICH CARRYOUT BAGS ARE AFFECTED? 

Plastic carryout bags to a customer at the point of sale that are not reusable carryout bags will be prohibited, including provision of compostable plastic carryout bags. Reusable carryout bags may be provided at the point of sale. 

 

WHAT IS A REUSABLE CARRYOUT BAG 

Reusable carryout bags are carryout bags with stitched handles that are designed and manufactured for multiple reuses and made of either: 

  • Cloth or other washable fabric 
  • A durable material suitable for multiple re-use that is not made of plastic film. 

 

DOES A PAPER BAG QUALIFY AS A REUSABLE CARRYOUT BAG 

A paper bag designed with stitched handles and manufactured for multiple uses will qualify as a reusable carry out bag.  

 

 

WHICH CARRYOUT BAGS ARE EXCLUDED? 

The plastic bag prohibition does not include bags: 

  • Sold in packages containing several multiple plastic bags and packaged at the time of manufacturing e.g., trash bags or food storage bags. 
  • Used to contain produce or bulk foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, candy or small hardware items like nuts bolts and screws. 
  • Used to contain or wrap uncooked or frozen foods, meat, fish or other.  
  • Used to contain unwrapped or non-prepackaged food, bakery goods, flowers, plants, or other items. 
  • Used to package or take live fish, insects, mollusks or crustaceans or other aquatic items requiring a waterproof bag. 
  • Used to contain garments or dry-cleaned clothes. 
  • Used to comply with food safety and contamination standards. 

 

WILL RESIDENTS BE PROVIDED WITH FREE REUSABLE BAGS? 

The City is not providing residents with free reusable bags at this time. Residents are encouraged to obtain their own reusable bags.  

 

MAY RETAILERS CHARGE A FEE FOR A CARRYOUT/PLASTIC BAG AT THE POINT OF SALE 

A retailer may not provide a resident with a plastic bag or charge a fee. A retailer may, however, provide reusable bags for purchase at the point of sale.  

 

CAN A RESIDENT BRING A PLASTIC OR PAPER BAG FROM HOME FOR PURCHASES 

Yes. A resident does not violate this ordinance if they carry their own plastic or paper bag for purchases. Residents are however encouraged to carry reusable bags.  

 

DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION THAT'S NOT ANSWERED HERE?

Contact the Sustainability Department via email at sustainability@cityoffrederickmd.gov

cityoffrederickmd.gov