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Sonoma County Waste Management Agency

Carryout Bag Reduction

bring your own bag
Made Local

Locally made reusable shopping bag project

Get and Agency Bag

To help support local jobs and to help residents get in the habit of bringing their own bag, the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency has contracted with BPE-USA , Santa Rosa, to produce 10,000 reusable shopping bags. Bags are made from locally sourced overstock materials.

Funding comes from the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency with support from community organizations, individuals and businesses.

City of Santa RosaCity of PetalumaSoiland- Rocks, soil, compostWhole FoodsAlvarado Street BakeryEconomic Development BoardThe Ratto GroupCounty of Sonoma Human ServiceIndustrial Carting

Sonoma Garbage Collectors

Individual Sponsors
June Michaels

Bring Your Own Bag graphic

Take your bag along to the store.

To address the growing problem of carryout bag waste, on February 19, 2014 the cities and the County members of the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency passed Ordinance No. 2014-2 Establishing a Waste Reduction Program for Carryout Bags (PDF: 33 kB) and a related administrative penalties ordinance. (PDF: 39 kB).If you are a grocery store or retail establishment subject to the ordinance, visit the Business Carryout Bags Ordinance page.

What shoppers need to know about the ordinance:

  • Beginning September 1, 2014, single-use plastic bags will no longer be available at all grocery and retail stores in Sonoma County. 
  • Stores must charge a minimum of  10¢  for each paper bag.
  • The Waste Reduction Program for Carryout Bags Ordinance (PDF: 33 kB) is intended to reduce litter, keep plastic bagas out of local waterways, and encourage the use of reusable bags.

What's excluded from the ordinance:

  • Bags used for produce, bulk foods and meats, bags used to hold prescription medications from a pharmacy, and bags used to segregate food or merchandise from each other.

Tips for remembering your bag when shopping

I've got a bag habit
  • Put your bags where you will use them, such as in the car, on the doorknob,  in your purse  or backpack.
  • Is your bag in your cart or basket? As you enter a store make sure you have a bag. If you forgot, make the effort to go back and get it.
  • Get bags that match your style. You’ll use your bags more if you enjoy them.
  • Put your kids in charge of remembering.

Bag facts

Historic use of plastic bags

  • 18.2 billion estimated 2008 California plastic carryout bag use.  In 2008, the US EPA estimated the plastic bag recover rate at 9.8%.
  • 232 million estimated 2008 Sonoma County plastic bag use--that’s 1.3 plastic bags per Sonoma County resident per day.

Historic use of paper bags

  • 3.6 billion estimated 2008 California paper carryout bag use. In 2008, the US EPA estimated the paper bag recover rate at 37.6%.
  • 46 million estimated 2008 Sonoma County paper bag use--that's .25 paper bags per Sonoma County resident per day.

2.12 Estimated number of times these Sonoma County bags would wrap around the Earth’s equator each year if arranged side-by-side

Get an Agency bag: two styles available

two styles of bagsTo help you get in the habit of using reusable bags when shopping, Agency bags will be available at the following events. A $1 donation is requested for locally-made fabric bags (bag photo on the left) and a 50¢ donation is requested for recycled reusable plastic bags (bag photo on the right). A variety of colors are available. While supplies last.

February 2015

February 7 Geyserville Lake Sonoma Steelhead Festival at the Milt Brandt Visitors Center at Lake Sonoma 10am-4pm
February 13-16 Cloverdale Cloverdale Citrus Fair
Look for our booth in the Commercial Exhibitor Hall among the citrus displays
12pm-10pm, Fri
10am-8pm, Sa-Sun
10am-5pm, Mon


Sonoma County Waste Management Agency ● 2300 County Center Drive, Suite B-100 ● Santa Rosa, CA 95403