Charge amount depends on the political will of the community but typically ranges from 5 cents – $1 USD per disposable. Consider the following:

  • Charge should be enough to cover the entire cost of plastic bag production, distribution, consumption and disposal.
  • What price will create lasting behavior change and achieve plastic bag reductions long term?
  • Charges for bags are typically a minimum charge, allowing higher quality reusable bags to be sold at a higher price point.
  • Include language in policy for the price to be increased if needed.

Consumers should be informed of bag charge and know how much they’re paying for each transaction. At minimum, make charge visible on receipt.


Ireland increased initial charge amount after evaluation of law
Germany retailers pay a recycling tax on plastic bags they provide. Most German retailers voluntarily charge 5-10 euro cents.
Denmark began taxing producers for plastic and paper shopping bags by weight in 1994
Global Summary of Effectiveness Studies with fee amount and fee destination listed