• Plastic Bag Restrictions

  • An Overview of the Plastic Bag Ban Ordinance

    To help eliminate plastic litter and promote environmental sustainability, the Town of Danville adopted an ordinance in December 2014 regarding Single-use Carryout Plastic Bags.  In an effort to allow adequate time for retail businesses and public eating establishments to comply, the ordinance  July 1, 2016. 


    Effective July 1, 2016:

    • Retail and public eating establishments may not distribute plastic carryout bags at point of sale.

    • Retail and public eating establishments are not required to charge customers for each paper bag distributed at point of sale, although retail establishments may choose to do so.

    • Paper bags must be made of at least 40 percent recycled content.

    • The Plastic Carryout Bag Ordinance applies to all retail establishments (businesses that sell goods including, but not limited to, clothing, food, and personal items) and public eating establishments (restaurants, take-out food establishments and other businesses that receives 90% or more of its revenue from the sale of prepared food).

    Violation of the ordinances may result in an infraction the retail or public eating establishment of $100 for the first violation, $250 for the second violation, and $500 for the third and any additional violations.

    The Town of Danville’s ordinance preempts the state’s ban on single-use plastic bags (SB 270).




  •     Can the plastic bags be recycled in the conventional recycling cart?
    Plastic bags can only be recycled through the State’s “In-Store” Recycling Program, where approximately 5% to 10% of bags are recycled. Unfortunately, recycling equipment cannot take plastic bags and in fact become jammed in conventional recycling equipment.
        What happens to plastic bags if they end up in the garbage?
    Plastic bags that end up in the garbage are transported to a nearby landfill. Plastic bags that stay in place will take at least 500 years to photo degrade, especially if they are buried deep beneath debris. Unfortunately many of the bags that are dumped in the landfill blow away and are caught in the fencing surrounding landfills such as Keller Canyon in Pittsburg. The cost to remove these bags is incurred by trash and recycling ratepayers.
        What is the Town of Danville doing to encourage the use of reusable bags?

    In an effort to promote the use of reusable bags in Danville retail establishments, the Town is distributing 10,000 reusable shopping bags free of charge to local residents.  These bags will be distributed through the Danville Farmers’ Market on Saturdays and other special events.  The reusable bags are part of an economic development effort and feature the Shop Danville brand, reminding residents to shop locally.

  •     Where would revenues for the fines go?
    Revenues would go to the Town of Danville’s General Fund, although little if any revenues would be expected. The cost to administer the enforcement would likely exceed any potential revenue from fines.
        What are the fines for non-compliance?
    Violation of the ordinance is an infraction that would first involve a warning notice for the first violation, $100 for the 2nd violation, $200 for the 3rd violation and $500 for the 4th and subsequent violations.
        Who would enforce the law?
    The local ordinance would be enforced by the Town of Danville. Code enforcement would be called in on a complaint basis.
        How will the Town enforce an ordinance restricting plastic bags? How much will the Town spend on enforcement?

    Once the ordinance takes effect, if complaints are received about a business, courtesy notices would be sent to the merchant before any fines were issued. Given the Town’s limited staffing resources on code enforcement (only half of a full-time staff person), other higher-priority quality-of-life issues would be addressed before efforts are spent enforcing the single-use plastic bag ordinance. No additional staffing resources would be spent on enforcement.