COVID-19 Update: Some States & Municipalities Temporarily Reverse Single Use Bag Bans While Others Welcome Reusable Bags

July 15, 2020

Add one more unexpected consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic to the list: some states, cities, and stores are temporarily reversing or delaying their bans on single-use plastic bags during the crisis. The fear is that as re-usable bags make their way from stores to customer homes and back again, baggers and others who come into contact with the bags might pick-up the virus.

Not everyone agrees. In June 2020, in an effort spearheaded by Greenpeace, a letter signed by more than 115 experts defended the safety of reusable bags as long as they’re cleaned between uses.

All of Belvedere Exclusive’s bags are 100% machine- or hand-washable and can be washed after every use by following the instructions printed on every bag.

The letter also stated that, whether using plastic or reusable bags, it would be safer to have customers handle and bag their own groceries during the pandemic.

Temporary Rollbacks

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many states and municipalities that had already prohibited or were planning to prohibit single-use plastic bags have temporarily reversed those bans.

  • Due to take effect on Earth Day 2020, Maine delayed its ban on single-use plastic bags for eight months until January 2021.
  • New Hampshire’s Governor directed all retailers to use single-use bags for now.
  • Oregon and cities in Washington, New Mexico, and other states announced temporary reversals of single-use bag bans.
  • Massachusetts rolled back its ban on single-use bags in March 2020 (but by mid-July was ready to reinstate those bans as part of its plan to reopen the state’s economy—more on this below).

A Fluid Situation

In mid-July, a spokesperson for the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Economic Development announced the state was lifting restrictions on reusable bags and reinstating single-use bag bans and fees, effective immediately.

Likewise, a number of municipalities in California’s Bay Area and the Los Angeles area that had paused restrictions on single use plastic bags for several months are now welcoming reusable bags back into stores. But there’s one catch, reports The Mercury News, “If you bring your own bags, you have to load your own groceries at the check stand, the local ordinances say.”

Trending Positive

Clearly, the trend to welcome reusable bags back into stores and reinstate single-use bag bans is good news for the environment and for reducing waste. It’s also good news for customers of Belvedere Exclusive. We are proud to be your premier source for environmentally-friendly reusable tote bags, insulated cooler bags, canvas tote bags, and other related products.

We invite you to get a no-strings attached quote on our branded bags, which are already in use with many high-profile retailers around the country. All Belvedere products are recycled, recyclable, or biodegradable/compostable.

  • Belvedere’s VALUE Collection—Belvedere offers the lowest cost FOB USA non-woven shopping bags on the market: 100-gram PP non-woven, PP-5 recyclable, fully customized in six different sizes to fully meet your business needs. Our flexible program offers discounts over multiple ship dates, and bags are available in both screen printed and full color all for under $1.00 per bag! Learn More
  • Belvedere’s ECO Collection—Made from recycled products, these 100-gram Recycled PET non-woven, PETE-1 recyclable bags are fully customizable and come in three different sizes. They’re available in as low as 10 carton increments with three different printing methods depending on art. This is our premium product designed to help you make your eco-statement! Learn More

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