Information for Retailers

Plastic production and pollution have negative effects that jeopardize our economic opportunities and the health of our land, waterways, and neighborhoods. Many retailers have already limited or eliminated their use of plastic bags, working to align themselves with growing consumer demands for environmental consciousness and benefitting the economy in the long run.


Cuyahoga County enacted legislation to ban plastic checkout bags but temporarily put enforcement on hold because of pandemic concerns. The ban is officially back in effect as of Jan.16, 2022. In recognition of the ongoing pandemic-related challenges that stores and shoppers are facing, the County is allowing stores an extended transition period and additional resources to support this transition.


Why should retailers reduce plastic bag usage?

  • Customers favor it. In a 2019 survey of Cuyahoga County shoppers, 72% were in favor of a plastic bag ban.
  • Join a growing sustainability movement. Many retailers that have taken steps to eliminate plastic bags at checkout counters view it as a plus for their brand to reduce plastic waste.
  • Save overhead costs on plastic. You can reduce overall demand – and costs – for checkout bags by encouraging customers to bring their own reusable bags.
  • Help protect Lake Erie and our communities. By working to create neighborhoods and waterways free from plastic bag litter and chemicals, you are protecting our most valuable resources and ensuring that we as a region are economically competitive, healthy, and thriving.


Helping your stores transition:

Retailers can take the following actions to support this effort:

  • Have an alternative reusable shopping bag available for purchase for your customers, such as cotton, canvas, or other machine washable fabric in compliance with the ordinance.
  • Prepare your staff for changes in store protocols.
  • Encourage your customers to bring reusable bags with them.
  • Allow customers to take your leftover cardboard boxes.
  • Provide signage and use resources in the Communications Toolkit.
  • Join our future roundtable discussions so we can include your perspectives in this process.


Contact Us

For more information about the Plastic Bag Ban, visit our FAQs page. For questions about enforcement, contact the Department of Consumer Affairs by phone at 216-443-7035 or by email. For information about plastics and the environment, contact the Department of Sustainability.