Save Money, Bring Your Own Bag: It’s That Easy

October 1, 2012 marked the start of the checkout bag ordinance and the kickoff of a major grassroots consumer education campaign.

Have you seen SF Environment staff around town lately with reusable bags in one hand and clipboards in the other? We are handing out 17,000 free reusable bags to San Francisco residents to encourage them to bring their own bag when shopping. Each person who receives a bag pledges to use it.

SF Environment staff will be handing out bags through November 15th. The reusable bag giveaway is part of our multi-lingual citywide consumer education campaign to help residents understand the new ordinance and encourage them to bring their own bags.

 Find a Checkout Bag Event near you!

Forget to bring your bag?

Here are five tips you can use to remember your reusable bags:

  • Put coupons in your bag and keep the bag by the door
  • Hang a few reusable bags on the coat rack or door knob
  • Keep reusable bags in the back seat or trunk of your car
  • Keep a reusable bag at your place of work
  • Keep compact reusable bags in a purse, pocket, or backpack

More on the checkout bag ordinance

San Francisco’s Checkout Bag Ordinance is designed to decrease the number of single use bags and eliminate single use plastic bags, which harm marine life, often end up as litter and clog street drains, and are difficult to recycle.

All retailers are now required to stop distribution of single use plastic checkout bags. Additionally, they must charge 10 cents for each paper or reusable checkout bag they give out. To avoid the bag charge, customers can bring their own bag when shopping. WIC and food stamp customers are not subject to the bag charge. On October 1, 2013, the ordinance expands to include restaurants and require bag charges for certified compostable plastics bags.

Over the last six months, SF Environment has been carrying out an extensive multi-lingual outreach campaign to the city’s retail stores. The outreach included mailing over 9,000 retailers, speaking with over 5,000 retailers face to face, holding five bag fairs to connect retailers and bag manufactures, and additional efforts.

Did you know?

SF Environment started giving out reusable bags to San Francisco residents in 2003. Since then, we have given out over 50,000 bags to residents. Our current campaign is a continuation of these efforts. Our bags are locally-produced, and made of durable heavy-weight scrap cloth and fabric remnants.

Keep on the lookout for SF Environment bags on the streets!

More information

Information and fact sheets on the checkout bag legislation
Attend our bag giveaway Facebook event
Follow us on twitter for an update on where we will be each day
Press Release: Save Money, Bring Your Own Bag: It’s That Easy
Find us in your neighborhood to get your own reusable bag!