Delaware’s Plastic Carryout Bag Ban

As of Jan. 1, 2021, plastic carryout bags have been replaced by reusable bags at checkout in many stores throughout Delaware.

Bring Your Own Bag

In 2019, the Delaware General Assembly passed a law banning plastic carryout bags (82 Del. Laws c. 166) to help reduce beach and roadside litter, increase recycling efforts, and reduce the impact of plastic bags at regional recycling facilities that manage material from Delaware’s Universal Recycling program.

DNREC has also developed materials that retailers can post in their stores to provide information about the changes to heir customers.

Recycle Plastic Bags at At-Store Recycling Drop-off Locations

All plastic bags, including the new thicker, reusable bags, are only recyclable at any At-Store Recycling drop-off location. Plastic bags and film should not go in curbside recycling carts at home. Instead, return them to the store to be recycled.

All retail stores affected by this law must continue to provide an At-Store Recycling program for plastic bags and film. This drop-off location should be visible and accessible within the store. The bins are typically at the store’s entrance or by its customer service area. All of the bags that can’t be reused anymore should be recycled at these locations.

Learn more from the At-Store Recycling flyer.

Information for Consumers

These changes raise many questions for consumers. There are answers, available below and in a downloadable FAQ.

Information and Resources for Retailers

DNREC has created a list of questions and answers to help guide retailers during the transition to a future mostly without plastic carryout bags. Any additional questions should be directed to the Delaware Recycles program of DNREC’s Compliance and Permitting Section (