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Plastic Bag Bans

For many years Alaska communities have struggled with windblown litter, a large portion of which are plastic bags. Although Alaska has no statewide plastic bag ban, many communities across the state have enacted their own codes and ordinances banning them. There are also communities that have voluntarily stopped using them without a law requiring it. 

Plastic Bag Ban News Across the State

Community Bans

Ban details in the table below are excerpts only. Review the linked codes for full text.

Community Date Ban Details
Anchorage 2019 Municipal Code 15.95.20: A retail seller shall not provide a plastic shopping bag to a purchaser to carry away goods purchased from, or serviced by, the retail seller
Bethel 2009 Municipal Code 8.12.020: Affected retail establishments, food vendors and nonprofit vendors are prohibited from providing plastic carry-out bags to their customers at the point of sale to transport purchased items. It bans polystyrene (Styrofoam) from food service as well. City reported ban is not currently enforced.
Cordova 2016 Municipal Code 8.37.020: Plastic carry-out bag that is not intended nor suitable for continuous reuse and that is less than 2.25 mils thick.
Galena 1998 Municipal Code 13.04.045: Plastic bags, used for carry out, in retail business shall be prohibited.
Haines 2020 Municipal Code 8.10.010: It shall be unlawful for all establishments in the borough to provide single-use, noncompostable plastic shopping bags for the purpose of carrying away goods from the point of sale.
Homer 2020 Municipal Code 5.42.030: No seller may provide to a buyer any single-use plastic carryout bag for the purpose of carrying a buyer’s purchased goods from the seller’s premises.
Kodiak 2018 Municipal Code 7.32.050: Disposable plastic shopping bag that is not suitable for repeated reuse, if made of or containing plastic that is less than 4 mils thick.
McGrath Unknown Details unknown. City administrator confirmed a city resolution is in place banning plastic bags.
Mountain Village Unknown Details unknown. City manager confirmed a plastic bag ban is in place.
Palmer 2019 Municipal Code 18.09.030: Single-use plastic bags that is neither intended nor suitable for continuous reuse and that is less than 4 mils thick.
Saint Paul 2002 Resolution 2002-14 bans plastic bags.
Seward 2019 Municipal Code 9.35.015: Affected retail establishments, food vendors and nonprofit vendors are prohibited from providing plastic carry-out bags to their customers at the point of sale to transport purchased items. No person shall distribute plastic carry-out bags at any city facility or any event held on city property. It bans polystyrene (Styrofoam) from food service as well.
Soldotna 2018 Municipal Code 8.06.030: Single-use plastic bags that is neither intended nor suitable for continuous reuse and that is less than 2.25 mils thick.
Unalaska 2018 Municipal Code 11.16.040: Disposable plastic shopping bag that is not suitable for repeated reuse if made of or containing plastic that is less than 4 mils thick.
Wasilla 2018 Municipal Code 9.44: Prohibits all establishments in city limits from providing single-use plastic disposable shopping bags for the purpose of carrying away goods from the point of sale. Allows establishments to provide carryout bags made of plastic 2.25 mil or thicker, with or without charge at their discretion.

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