Bring Your Own Bag – help for shoppers and retailers

If you are a shopper or have your own business in the county of Mendocino or the cities of Fort Bragg or Ukiah, you may have questions about the ordinance or whether a store is in compliance. We’d like to help you understand the changes and get the assistance you need. Please call 707-468-9710 or email us at

If you are a retailer you can prepare for the ordinances by buying bags ahead of time.  If a retailer charges a surcharge for a paper bag is there sales tax on that surcharge? The Board of Equalization says no, read more about it here:

The Ordinances

  • Starting December 10, 2012 in Fort Bragg, and January 7, 2013 in Ukiah and the unincorporated County, supermarkets and large drug stores can no longer provide plastic carryout bags at checkout. The ban extends to other retail stores one year later.
  • Affected stores may still provide paper bags made of 40% post-consumer recycled material and charge a minimum of 10 cents for each bag. The charge will be retained by the store. (Charge does not apply to restaurants.)

Restaurant Ordinances


Make it a Habit and Grab It! Don’t forget to take a reusable bag when you shop

Shopping with a reusable bag is the best choice. A high-quality reusable bag has the potential to replace over 600 single use bags over the course of its lifetime significantly reducing plastic bag litter. Plastic bags are a common litter item found in creek cleanups. Paper bags are also problematic, taking 14 million trees each year in the United States to produce a year’s supply of paper bags for retail use. Reusable bags reduce litter and conserve natural resources. FAQ

Recycle Plastic Bags at Local Grocery and Pharmacy Stores

Of the plastic bags collected at curbside, only 4% are recycled, the rest are landfilled or become litter, which impairs our streets, creeks and oceans. Take your single-use plastic bags back to your local grocery or pharmacy stores for recycling.