The Hillsboro City Council approved an ordinance to encourage the use of durable, reusable shopping bags and to eliminate the use of one-time plastic shopping bags during the November 20, 2018 Council meeting. The policy was driven by the Hillsboro Youth Advisory Council (YAC) and its Sustainable Shopping Initiative, and involved extensive community and stakeholder outreach.
Read more about the YAC's Sustainable Shopping Initiative.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Retail Bag Ordinance?
The ordinance encourages the use of durable, reusable shopping bags and restricts the distribution of single use plastic bags at point of sale at shops and restaurants in Hillsboro.
Read the City Council Plastic Bag Ordinance.
When does the ordinance go in to effect?
- June 1, 2019 for retailers with more than ten full time equivalent (FTE) employees
- January 1, 2020 for all other retailers, restaurants, and City sponsored and permitted events
What does this mean for businesses?
Retailers and restaurants will no longer be allowed to offer single-use plastic bags at check-out. Large retailers will be required to charge a $0.05 pass through fee for recyclable paper bags at check-out, in order to help offset the added cost of the paper bags. Smaller retailers (ten or fewer full-time equivalent employees) and restaurants may opt to charge a $0.05 pass through fee, but are not required to do so.
What does this mean for consumers?
Consumers are encouraged to bring their own reusable shopping bags to retail establishments and restaurants. At larger stores they will have to pay a $0.05 pass through fee for each paper bag they use.
Customers who qualify for SNAP or WIC will have the $0.05 pass through fee waived upon their request at the time of checkout.
What happens to the $0.05 fee collected by stores?
Stores keep the $0.05 fee. None of the $0.05 goes to the City of Hillsboro.
The $0.05 fee for paper bags is intended to help stores cover a portion of the added cost of providing paper bags, which are more expensive than plastic bags. The $0.05 fee is required of larger stores with more than 10 employees, and will be optional for smaller businesses and restaurants.
What about plastic produce bags and collecting pet waste?
Plastic produce bags are not included in the ordinance and will still be available for use. Reusable produce bags are available for purchase online and are a great way to further reduce the use of single-use plastic bags.
Plastic pet waste bags and trash can liners are not affected by the ordinance.
What about plastic bags at food pantries and food banks?
The ordinance does not apply to food pantries or food banks since they do not sell food. Therefore these community services are not included in the ordinance.
What if I forget to bring my reusable bags?
Recyclable paper bags may be offered at check-out. A $0.05 pass through fee will be charged for each paper bag.
What if my favorite store still offers plastic bags after the ordinance is in effect?
The City will work to support businesses in the transition. After the ordinance takes effect, if a store continues to offer plastic bags, the City will offer outreach materials, information, and advice to eliminate plastic bags. If a store continues thereafter to offer plastic bags, the City will issue a warning. Continued noncompliance may result in a civic infraction as provided in the Hillsboro Municipal Code, Chapter 1.08.
Peter Brandom, Senior Project Manager