[Adopted 4-16-2019 by Ord. No. 2019.29]
This article shall become effective (three months after adoption or by a date certain to be specified, provided that the City gives notice of commencement in the manner required for publication of ordinances.
It is in the best interest of the citizens and visitors of Biddeford to protect the environment and natural resources of Maine by prohibiting single-use carryout plastic bags and encouraging the use of reusable shopping bags in stores, as defined below.
A significant amount of plastic bags will still appear in Biddeford's curbside recycling program as contamination despite the fact that Title 38, Chapter 16, § 1605, requires all retailers that use plastic bags to bag products at the point of retail sale to locate within 20 feet of the main entrance a receptacle for collecting any used plastic bags; and
It is important to keep the City of Biddeford as litter-free as possible to enhance the quality of life for Biddeford's residents and visitors; and
A substantial portion of Biddeford is adjacent to the Saco River and Biddeford is a coastal community with a vested interest in protecting the ocean environment from plastic debris; and this article is authorized under the City's home rule authority pursuant to 30-A M.R.S.A. § 3001 et seq.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
- SINGLE-USE CARRYOUT PLASTIC BAG
- A bag other than a reusable bag, as defined below, provided that at the checkout stand, cash register, point of sale or other point of departure for the purpose of transporting food or merchandise out of the store. The term "single-use carryout bag" includes compostable and biodegradable bags, but does not include reusable bags, produce bags, product bags required for special handling, single-use paper bags, or paper bags provided by pharmacists to contain prescription drugs.
- PRODUCE BAG or PRODUCT BAG
- Any bag used exclusively to carry produce, meats, seafood, other food items or bulk items within the store to the point of sale inside such store or to prevent such items from coming into direct contact with other purchased items.
- REUSABLE BAG
- A bag that meets all of the following criteria:
- (a) Designed and manufactured to withstand repeated uses over a period of time;
- (b) Is machine washable or made from a material that can be cleaned and disinfected regularly;
- (c) Has a minimum rated lifetime of 75 uses;
- (d) Has the capability of carrying a minimum of 18 pounds; and
- (e) If plastic, is at least 4.0 mil thick.
- Any commercial enterprise engaged in the sale of food and/or merchandise, including, but not limited to, grocery and convenience stores, markets, pharmacies, restaurants, take-out food, temporary and seasonal businesses, and other merchant retailers.
Except as provided in Sections 58-111 and 58-112, no store, as defined above, shall provide or sell a single-use carryout bag to a customer at the checkout stand, cash register, point of sale or other point of departure for the purpose of transporting food, goods or merchandise out of the establishment.
A store may, at its discretion, make available a reusable bag or a paper bag either for free or for a fee at the checkout stand, cash register, point of sale or other point of departure for the purpose of transporting goods and merchandise out of the store.
All monies collected by a store through the sale of reusable bags or paper bags under this section may be used by the store for any lawful purpose.
All stores must post signage clearly indicating the per bag charge for paper bags if a fee is to be charged.
Notwithstanding this section, no store may make available for sale a paper bag unless the amount of the sale of the paper bag is separately itemized on the sales receipt if a fee is charged.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit customers from using bags of any type that the customer brings to the store for their own use or for carrying away from the store food, goods or merchandise that is not placed in a bag provided by the store.
A store shall be exempt from the provisions of this article, in a situation deemed by the City Manager to be an emergency for the immediate preservation of the public health or safety in consultation with the Emergency Management Director for the City.
A store is allowed to draw down and deplete existing inventory of single-use plastic bags by September 30, 2019.
The Code Enforcement Officer or his/her designee(s) shall have the primary responsibility for enforcement of this article. If the Code Enforcement Officer or his/her designee(s) determines that a violation of this article has occurred, he/she shall issue a written warning notice to the store that a violation has occurred. Subsequent violations of the article shall be subject to the penalties set forth below.
Violations of this article shall be punishable by fines as follows: