Albuquerque’s plastic bag ban to resume August 1

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The plastic bag ban is back. Starting Sunday, August 1 the City of Albuquerque’s Environmental Health Department will begin enforcing the Clean and Green Retail Ordinance again. Director of the Solid Waste Management Department Matthew Whelan talked about what this means for the public.


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The ban includes single-use plastic bags used to carry products from retailers. This includes compostable bags and all plastic bags that are less than 2.25 mils thick. Businesses can offer substitutes such as paper grocery bags or other reusable plastic bags that are at least 2.25 mils thick or customers can bring their own bags from home to carry their groceries and purchases. The ordinance does not apply to food service establishments.

The ordinance was halted during the pandemic in an effort to protect frontline employees and customers. The ban was initially put into place on January 1, 2020. In June of 2020, the ban was extended indefinitely.

Which plastic bags are banned?

Any single-use plastic bag for the purpose of carrying products from the point of sale. This includes compostable and biodegradable bags and all plastic bags less than 2.25 mils thick.

Why ban plastic bags?

  • Plastic bags are a significant source of litter along roadways and in open spaces.
  • Plastic bags are produced from oil and gas and remain in the environment essentially forever.

Can’t we recycle plastic bags?

Plastic bags can’t be recycled in your blue cart. Plastic bags can be recycled in cardboard receptacles located at many local retail stores. Download a list of updated participating locations. Please call and confirm with the location before taking your plastic bags to be recycled.

For more information about the plastic bag ban, visit https://www.cabq.gov/solidwaste/clean-and-green-retail-ordinance.

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