Plastic Bag Ordinance

Town of Silver City Ordinance Number 1231 (PDF) prohibits single-use plastic grocery bags for carry-out at retail establishments. Here are a few notes:

  • This ordinance becomes effective January 8, 2015.
  • This ordinance does not affect produce, meat or other specialty plastic bags.
  • Stores may use recycled paper bags or cardboard boxes.
  • Stores may charge for paper bags.
  • Stores are encouraged to sell or provide reusable bags.
  • Customers are encouraged to use reusable cloth or plastic bags.
  • Customers are encouraged to recycle or reuse their paper bags.

Plastic Bag Ordinance DisplayA poster on display at City Hall illustrates which bags are okay and which ones will no longer be provided at check out. Single-use plastic bags, usually from grocery stores, are those affected by the ordinance and are shown at left. The plastic bag ordinance will go into effect on January 8, 2015.

Update: Can Stores Reuse Plastic Bags?

It has been about one month since Town of Silver City ordinance 1231 went into effect. This ordinance restricts the use of single-use plastic carryout bags at retail merchants within Town limits. All of the major retailers are complying with the ordinance by providing paper bags, boxes, or heavyweight reusable plastic bags, or by eliminating bags altogether.

There are some stores that in the past provided used plastic bags to their customers. To fully comply with the ordinance these stores should not continue to hand out the single-use plastic bags, but they can have a bin in the store for customers to leave such bags for other customers to use. It will be acceptable and encouraged for any store to handout reused paper bags or the new heavy weight plastic bags. It is anticipated that the supply of the thin plastic bags will gradually diminish, and they will cease to be a litter problem.

Recycling Plastic Bags

If you have a large supply of the single-use plastic bags there are a couple of additional options for them rather than throwing them in the trash. They can be recycled in the plastic bag collection containers at WalMart, Albertson’s, and Food Basket. These plastic bags are returned to a special plastic film processor. You can also recycle clean and dry plastic film  in these bins, such as:

  • Air pillows
  • Bubble wrap
  • Tyvek envelopes
  • Wrap around toilet paper rolls, bread, and cereal bags
  • Zip close bags