Delaware’s Plastic Carryout Bag Ban

Starting July 1, 2022, retailers in the State of Delaware will no longer provide a plastic carryout bag made from film at checkout. Instead, they will provide customers access to a reusable bag for purchases.

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.

In 2021, the Delaware General Assembly updated that law expanding both the bags banned and the stores impacted by the law (83 Del. Laws c. 216)

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

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

Plastic bags and film should not go in curbside recycling carts at home. Instead, they should be returned 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 about At-Store Recycling.

Questions and Answers

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 (