On November 9, 2016, voters passed Proposition 67, banning retailers from providing single use plastic bags. Many grocery-store shoppers have been surprised at the checkout stand in recent days with the quick roll out of the law leaving them bag-less or paying additional fees.
California now has the nation’s first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. The restrictions apply to large food retailers, pharmacies, corner markets and liquor stores. These restrictions do not apply to restaurants or department stores.
Businesses can still offer paper bags and thicker plastic bags as long as they charge at least 10 cents for each of these items. The additional fee for bags has encouraged San Diegans to tote their own reusable sacks. But did you know that your reusable bags could pose a health risk if you don’t use them properly?
The County of San Diego, Department of Environmental Health, Food and Housing Division encourages you to remember to Clean, Separate and properly Store your reusable bags after each use.
Wash bags after each use, following care instructions. Wipe insulated bags with a disinfecting or sanitizing cloth, especially along seams.
Use separate bags for raw meats, seafood and produce. Label bags to avoid any confusion. Keep bags for non-food items, like cleaners, separate from food bags.
After washing, make sure your bags are dry before storing. Do not store bags in your car trunk. This is a dark, warm and often humid environment that promotes bacteria growth.
To learn more, please visit “How to Keep Reusable Grocery Bags Clean and Safe”.
Or contact the Department of Environmental Health Specialist on Duty at (858) 505-6900.