BernCo to Reinstate Single-use Plastic Bag Restrictions

06/04/2021

Bernalillo County will revert to the ban on single-use plastic bags and polystyrene containers within the unincorporated areas of the county, outside the city limits of Albuquerque, on July 1.  Bernalillo County Manager Julie Morgas Baca is rescinding the order she implemented last summer allowing businesses to use the bags during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The single-use bags are most frequently used by restaurants and retail establishments and their use was permitted to cut down on the possible spread of the coronavirus.

“The county wanted to work with our business owners to ease the pain of the pandemic and protect frontline workers and customers,” says County Manager Julie Morgas Baca.  “Now it’s time to transition, once again, to the ordinance passed by the County Commission in an effort to cut back on the pollution caused by these products.”

A single-use plastic carryout bag is defined as a plastic bag provided at the check stand, cash register, point of sale, or other point of departure for the purpose of transporting food or merchandise out of the establishment.  A single-use polystyrene container, for purposes of this ordinance, is defined as a disposable food service container designed for one time use and made from polystyrene foam. A disposable food service container includes service ware for take-out foods, packaged meat, bakery products, and leftovers from partially consumed meals prepared by food vendors.
As with the initial implementation of the single-use plastic bag and container ordinance, business owners will be allowed to use any containers and bags they currently have in stock.

Bernalillo County intends to work closely with county business owners to ensure a smooth transition while offering counseling on any possible violations.

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