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.
- 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
- Plastic Bag Public Forum Presentation - January 30, 2012
- Solid Waste Advisory Commission Presentation - January 11, 2012
- Solid Waste Advisory Commission Presentation - December 14, 2011
City Council Resolutions
- Resolution - August 4, 2011
- Resolution - June 24, 2010
- Resolution - April 10, 2008
- Resolution - April 19, 2007
Additional Documents and Staff Reports
- A Short History of Single-use Carryout Bags in Austin
- Response to “Bag the Bag” Program Proposal from Bob Gregory/TDS – February 28, 2012
- Staff Report and Recommendations - Feb. 28, 2012
- Staff Update to Council (includes updated plastic bag cost analysis) - January 26, 2012
- Plastic Bag Initiative - Staff response to June 24, 2010 Resolution - January 12, 2011
- Texas Retailer Association Report (presented to Solid Waste Advisory Commission) - December 9, 2009
- Recycle the Bag Pilot - Staff Report - October 2008