Bill Text - HB560 (2019)

Revision: April 2, 2019, 10:54 a.m.



19Mar2019... 0920h







AN ACT relative to single-use carryout bags.


SPONSORS: Rep. Spang, Straf. 6; Rep. Balch, Hills. 38; Rep. Luneau, Merr. 10; Rep. Myler, Merr. 10; Sen. Watters, Dist 4; Sen. Fuller Clark, Dist 21


COMMITTEE: Commerce and Consumer Affairs






This bill restricts the distribution of single-use carryout bags by stores and food service businesses.


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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

19Mar2019... 0920h 19-0464





In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen


AN ACT relative to single-use carryout bags.


Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:


1  Purpose; Solid Waste Management Methods.  In accordance with RSA 149-M:2 and RSA 149-M:3, establishing source reduction as the waste management method with the highest priority in the hierarchy of solid waste management methods to be used by the department of environmental services, the distribution of single-use plastic bags in New Hampshire shall be restricted in accordance with this act.

2  New Subdivision; Restriction on Distribution of Single-Use Carryout Bags.  Amend RSA 149-M by inserting after section 60 the following new subdivision:

Restriction on Distribution of Single-Use Carryout Bags

149-M:61  Definitions.  In this subdivision:

I.  "Food service business" means a business that sells or provides food for consumption on or off the premises, and includes, but is not limited to, any restaurant, cafe, delicatessen, coffee shop, supermarket or grocery store, vending truck or cart, food truck, movie theater, or business or institutional cafeteria, including those operated by or on behalf of the state.

II.  "Single-use carryout bag" means a bag made of plastic, paper, or other material that is provided by a store or food service business to a customer at the point of sale for the purpose of one-time use in transporting groceries or retail goods.   Single-use carryout bag shall not include reusable bags, recycled paper bags, or paper bags provided by a pharmacy for prescription medications, paper bags for prepared take-out food or other unwrapped food, plastic bags for carrying uncooked meats, poultry, or seafood, or other unwrapped food items such as grains, a  bag without a handle used to protect items from damaging or contaminating other purchased items placed in a recycled or reusable bag, or bags to be placed over articles of clothing on a hanger.

III.  "Reusable bag" means a bag with handles, that has a minimum thickness of 4.0 mils and is made of woven or non-woven cloth or other machine-washable fabric other than polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride, and is capable of being used 100 times carrying 25 pounds over a distance of 300 feet.

IV.  "Recycled paper bag" or "recyclable paper bag" means a bag that:

(a)  Is 100 percent recyclable;

(b)  Contains a minimum of 40 percent post-consumer recycled materials, provided that an 8 pound or smaller recycled paper bag shall contain a minimum of 20 percent post-consumer recycled material; and

(c)  Displays the words "recyclable" and "made from 40 percent post-consumer recycled content" or other applicable amount in a visible manner on the outside of the bag.

V.  "Store" means any retail establishment that sells or provides merchandise, goods, or materials directly to a customer, including but not limited to restaurants, grocery stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, liquor stores, pharmacies, drug stores, or other retail establishment that has over 1,000 square feet of retail space and that provides carryout bags to its customers as a result of the sale of a product.  

149-M:62  Plastic Bag Restriction.

I.  No store or food service business shall provide a single-use plastic carryout bag to a customer at the point of sale, except that for 4 months after the effective date of this subdivision, a store or food service business may provide a single use plastic bag to a customer for no less than 10 cents.

II.  A store or food service business shall provide reusable plastic or recycled paper bags to customers for no less than 10 cents, to be retained by the business.

III.  The following are exempted from the provisions of this section:

(a)  Paper bags 6 inches across or less, without handles.

(b)  Bags used by a particular store for which there is no reasonable packaging or distribution alternative to single use carry-out bags.

IV.  Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT), and Women, Infants, and Children program (WIC) users are exempt from the bag fee in paragraph II.

V.  All businesses with a brick and mortar location over 10,000 square feet shall provide at least one bin for collecting and recycling all plastic film products not banned under this subdivision.

3  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 6 months after its passage.




Amended 4/2/19





AN ACT relative to single-use carryout bags.


FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [ X ] County               [ X ] Local              [    ] None




Estimated Increase / (Decrease)


FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

FY 2023
















Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [    ] Other







This bill would restrict the distribution of single-use carryout bags by stores and food service businesses.


The Department of Environmental Services indicates, while the bill as amended removes the paragraphs concerning enforcement and rulemaking, the Department assumes it would incur costs related to its responsibilities under RSA 149-M, the Solid Waste Management Chapter.  The responsibilities in RSA 149-M:6 include enforcement, investigation, the provision of technical assistance to citizens, towns and districts, and any other activity for the purpose of administering the chapter.  The Department assumes this work would require an additional  staff person staff equivalent to 05. FTE.  The estimated cost for one half of a full-time Program Specialist at labor grade 23 is $23,250 in  FY 2020 (1/2 year), $47,500 in FY 2021, $49,500 in FY 2022 and $50,000 in FY 2023.  


The bill, as amended, would not impact county or local revenue and expenditures.


This bill does not appropriate funds or establish new positions.



Department of Environmental Services