Ordinance

Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance
Illustration of bag flying in the wind

On March 2, 2012, the Austin City Council unanimously approved the Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance, which will take effect on March 1, 2013. The ordinance regulates the types of carryout bags that can be provided by businesses in Austin and encourages a shift to reusable bags.

In November 2012, City Council approved Administrative Rules for the ordinance. The rules include specific carryout bag standards, exemptions and signage requirements. They also provide a process and standards for applying for a hardship variance, alternative compliance or emergency access.

Ordinance Timeline

  • Aug. 4, 2011: Austin City Council adopted resolution to regulate single-use bags at retail stores.
  • March 2, 2012: Austin City Council unanimously approved the Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance.
  • Nov. 8, 2012: Austin City Council approved the Single-Use Carryout Bag Administrative Rules.
  • Nov. 14, 2012: Austin Resource Recovery hosts two free Carryout Bag Business Trainings to help educate businesses about the ordinance.
  • Feb. 7, 2013: Austin Resource Recovery hosts two free Carryout Bag Business Trainings to help educate businesses about the ordinance.
  • Feb. 27, 2013: Austin Resource Recovery hosts free Carryout Bag Business Training to help educate businesses about the ordinance.
  • March 1, 2013: Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance becomes effective.

The ordinance applies to all businesses in the City of Austin that provide carryout bags for their customers. Information for affected businesses on how to comply with the ordinance can be found in the Businesses section. If you have questions or need assistance, contact us by email or call 3-1-1.

Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance

Single-Use Carryout Bag Administrative Rules

Presentations

City Council Resolutions

Additional Documents and Staff Reports