Plastic bag ban starts impacting small Salem retailers Sept. 1

People shop in downtown Salem in the winter. (Caleb Wolf/Special to Salem Reporter)

Plastic bags that already disappeared from checkout stands at big grocers and other large retailers in Salem will soon be gone from small shops, too.

Starting Sept. 1, retailers under 10,000 square feet in size — convenience stores, apparel stores, markets — will stop offering plastic carryout bags to customers, after Salem City Council last fall banned their use in a bid to stem plastic waste.

The ordinance banned plastic bags from larger stores starting April 1 and gave smaller retailers an extra five months to comply.

Restaurants and other “prepared food providers” will be able to use handout plastic bags under the city ordinance, officials said in a Tuesday press release.


The ordinance is in effect until January 2020. After that, a bag ban passed by state lawmakers this spring will go into effect indefinitely.

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