January 1 marked the beginning of Delaware’s plastic bag ban. Put simply, this means many of the stores you visit will no longer provide you with single-use plastic bags. In 2019 the Delaware General Assembly passed a law banning plastic carryout bags to help reduce beach and roadside litter, increase recycling efforts, and reduce the impact of plastic bags at regional recycling facilities that manage material from Delaware’s Universal Recycling program.
Where will we see this change?
In supermarkets and big-box stores, as well as chain convenience stores. Under the law, plastic carryout bags will no longer be available from larger stores (more than 7,000 square feet) as well as smaller stores with at least three locations in Delaware of 3,000 square feet each or more. Restaurants are not subject to the ban, nor are small stores with one or two locations.
What does that mean for you?
That depends upon where you visit. The choice has been left up to the stores. Some have chosen to make paper, cloth, or reusable plastic bags available, while some have decided to not provides bags at all. The best way to ensure you have something to bag your items with is by buying or bringing your own cloth or reusable shopping bag, or snagging some nicely designed ones online.
Because of COVID-19, it is suggested you wipe down/wash your bags in between uses. For more information on the plastic bag ban, click here.