Batavia Retailers Will Soon Charge Fee For Single-Use Bags

BATAVIA, IL — Batavia is looking to become greener as City Council approved an ordinance Nov. 21 to implement a single-use bag fee in less than a year.

Starting July 1, 2023, shoppers will have to start carrying around reusable bags or shell out 10 cents per bag. Ordinance 22-59 defines a single-use bag as a “bag provided by a retail establishment to a customer at the point of sale, pickup, or delivery to carry purchased items. The term carryout single-use bag includes compostable and biodegradable bags (including paper).”

A further stipulation in the ordinance requires only retail establishments — including supermarkets, convenience stores and service stations — 5,000 square feet or larger to charge bag fees. So those plastic bags used at Jewel or paper bags at Whole Foods? They’re going to cost money to use.

The fee will apply to 17 businesses in Batavia, according to reports from the Daily Herald.

To provide further details for residents, city officials responded to some frequently asked questions about bag fees on its website. Here’s a look at what they said.

What is considered a reusable bag? A reusable bag means one with handles that are specifically designed and manufactured for multiple reuses and is made of cloth, fiber or other machine-washable fabric.

Where do the fees go? Each retail establishment that collects the fee retains 4 cents from the 10-cent fee. The remaining 6 cents are remitted to the City of Batavia.

Are restaurants, pharmacies, produce, meat and bakery bags included? No. The following types of bags are excluded from the fee:

  • A bag provided by a pharmacist that contains a prescription drug.
  • Any newspaper bags, door hanger bags, dry cleaning and garment bags, and bags sold in packages containing multiple bags for uses such as food storage, garbage, pet waste, or yard waste.
  • A bag provided at the point of sale at a seasonal event, such as a farmers market, street fair, or yard sale, or by an occasional or temporary retailer.
  • A paper or plastic bag that a restaurant gives a customer to take prepared or leftover food or drink from the restaurant.
  • Bags used by customers inside stores to package bulk items, such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, candy or small hardware items.
  • Bags used by customers inside stores to contain or wrap frozen foods, meat, or fish.
  • Bags used by customers inside stores to contain or wrap flowers, potted plants, or other items where dampness may be a problem.
  • Bags used by customers inside stores to contain unwrapped prepared foods or bakery goods.
  • A bag used to protect a purchased item from damaging or contaminating other purchased items when placed in a carryout single-use bag or reusable bag.

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