#BYOBagDE: How Delaware is Making its Second Attempt at a Ban on Single-Use Plastic Bags
Hello Reusable Bags!
If at first you don’t succeed, try again – at least, that’s Delaware’s plan when it comes to banning plastic bags.
Effective July 1, 2022, retail stores in Delaware will no longer provide plastic bags at checkout. The law reduces waste and limits the number of plastic bags that litter our roads and waterways.
This new mandate is in response to stores finding loopholes in the original plastic carryout bag ban last year, where the initial ban considered plastic bags with as much as a 2.25mm as ‘reusable’, the new mandate prohibits all retailers from distributing any plastic carryout bags.
Not all plastic bags will be gone though, as plastic can still be used in stores for produce and other items.
However, any retailer that provides an exempt bag is required to set up an at-store recycling area, and it must be easily accessible to customers. The exempt plastic bags include
- Bags used to contain or wrap food items, such as meat, fish, or coffee.
- Produce bags used to contain fruits, nuts, vegetables or candies.
- Dry cleaning bags.
- Bags used to contain live animals such as fish or insects sold in pet stores.
- Bags used to transport pesticides, drain-cleaning chemicals or other caustic chemicals.
- Plastic bags with no handles used to protect a purchased item such as flowers or potted plants.
- Plastic used to contain dampness or prevent damage or contamination when placed in a recycled paper bag or a reusable grocery bag with other purchased items.
In 2019, Delaware General Assembly passed a law banning plastic carryout bags (82 Del. Laws c. 166) to help reduce beach and roadside litter, increase recycling efforts, and reduce the impact of plastic bags at regional recycling facilities that manage material from Delaware’s Universal Recycling program.