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Bag Ban Update

The Ohio Legislature placed a temporary moratorium on local bag bans through January 15, 2022. The County will not begin to enforce its bag ban until January 16, 2022, after the moratorium expires. In the meantime, we still encourage residents to use reusable bags whenever possible. For more information on reusable bags and COVID-19, visit our “COVID-19 and Reusable Bags” tab.

graphic of shopping bag with words Brin Your Own BagsWhat Does the Ban Cover?

Stores covered by the bag ban:
  • Retail stores of all types
  • Convenience stores
  • Grocery stores and supermarkets
  • Shops
  • Service stations
  • Drug stores

Except when used for:

  • Curbside pick-up or delivery
  • Prepared foods
  • Packaging bulk items or perishables (such as meat, fish, produce, baked goods, flowers)
  • Prescription medications
  • Prescription medications provided by a pharmacist
graphic of statistics for using plastic bags


  • Dry cleaners who only use for dry cleaning items; others are not exempt
  • Restaurants (unless for grocery items)
  • Bakeries

The bag ban does not extend to bags used for leftovers, prepared foods, bulk items or perishables such as meat, fish, produce, baked goods and flowers.

It does not cover bags sold for use for garbage, yard waste or pet waste.

Why Is It Important?

We’ve come a long way from being the “Mistake on the Lake.”
…and continue to gain national recognition for our revitalized parks and beauty of our communities.

  • Lake Erie, rivers and parks are vital to our region’s renewal.
  • Our access to clean drinking water is the envy of communities around the world.
  • Our growth is at risk from discarded plastic bags that harm our health and quality of life.

Plastic bags are costing all of us.

  • Each year over 300 million bags are discarded in Cuyahoga County alone.
  • Drinking water treatment plants cannot filter them out.
  • Water and Sewer systems run more smoothly without plastic bags clogging storm drains and discharging into our lakes, streams and creeks.

bag stuck in treeBag Bans Work

  • In Chicago alone, bag usage dropped by more than 50 percent in the first month of their program.
  • In areas like San Jose, programs have reduced the amount of plastic litter in drain systems by 89 percent and by 60 percent in creeks, rivers, streets and neighborhoods.
  • At least 127 countries and at least 349 jurisdictions have regulations on plastic bags.
  • China has banned bags for over a decade.
  • Ireland has had a bag fee for over 17 years.

For more information on how you can reduce plastic waste in your day-to-day life, read this blog post for the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District.