Natural Resources

CHAPTER 60. Environmental Control

Subchapter IX. Recycling and Waste Reduction

§ 6099A. At-store recycling program.

(a) For purposes of this subchapter, the following definitions shall apply:

(1) “Department” means the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

(2) “Manufacturer” means the producer of a plastic carryout bag sold to a store.

(3) “Plastic carryout bag” means a plastic bag provided by a store to a customer at the point of sale made from plastic and not specifically designed and manufactured to be reusable.

(4) “Reusable bag” means a carryout bag made of polypropylene fabric, PET nonwoven fabric, nylon, cloth, cotton, jute, hemp product, or other washable fabric which also meets all of the following requirements:

a. Is a bag made of cloth or other durable fabric that has stitched handles.

b. [Repealed.]

c. Has a volume capacity of at least 4 gallons (equivalent to 15 liters or 924 cubic inches).

d. Is machine washable or made from a durable material that can be cleaned and disinfected.

e. Does not contain lead, cadmium, or any other toxic material that may pose a threat to public health. A reusable bag manufacturer may demonstrate compliance with this requirement by obtaining a no objection letter from the federal Food and Drug Administration.

f., g. [Repealed.]

(5) “Store” means a retail establishment, excluding a restaurant, engaged in the business of selling or exchanging goods or services for cash, barter, or any form of consideration on the assumption that the purchaser of such goods or services has acquired the goods or services for ultimate consumption or use and not resale that provides carryout bags to its customers in conjunction with the sale of such goods or services.

a., b. [Repealed.]

(b) The store which provides plastic bags for exemptions listed in paragraph (e)(3) of this section below shall establish an at-store recycling program pursuant to this section that permits a customer of the store to return clean and dry plastic bags and film to the store.

(c) A retail establishment that does not meet the definition of a store, as defined herein, and that provides plastic carryout bags to customers at the point of sale may adopt a similar at-store recycling program, as specified in this section.

(d) An at-store recycling program provided by a store shall include all of the following:

(1) [Repealed.]

(2) A plastic bag and film collection bin shall be placed at each store and shall be visible, easily accessible to the consumer, and clearly marked that the collection bin is available for the purpose of collecting and recycling plastic carryout bags.

(3) All plastic bags and film collected by the store shall be collected and recycled in a manner consistent with the intent of this section. In no instance, shall a store permit collected plastic bags and film to be disposed of or to further any act other than the recycling of such bags.

(4) The store shall maintain records describing the collection and recycling of plastic bags and film collected by such store and shall make the records available to the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), upon request, to demonstrate compliance with this section.

(5) The store shall make reusable bags available to customers within the store, which bags may be purchased by such customer and used in lieu of using a plastic carryout bag or paper bag. This subsection is not applicable to a retail establishment specified pursuant to subsection (c) of this section above.

(e) Effective January 1, 2021, a “store” as defined in subsection (a) of this section shall not provide any single-use plastic carryout bag, as defined in subsection (a) of this section, to a customer at the point of sale except as provided in this section:

(1) A store may make available for purchase or distribution at the point of sale a reusable grocery bag that meets the requirements of paragraph (a)(4) of this section.

(2) A store may make paper bags available for no cost or charge any price at their discretion.

(3) A store may provide plastic carryout bags for any of the following purposes:

a. Bags used to contain or wrap frozen foods, meat or fish, flowers or potted plants, or other items to contain dampness.

b. Bags sold in packages containing multiple bags intended for use as garbage, pet waste, or yard waste.

c. Bags used to contain live animals such as fish or insects sold in pet stores.

d. Bags used to transport chemical pesticides, drain-cleaning chemicals, or other caustic chemicals.

e. Nonhandled bags used to protect a purchased item from damaging or contaminating other purchased items when placed in a recycled paper bag or a reusable grocery bag.

f. Bags provided to contain an unwrapped food item.

g. Nonhandled bags that are designed to be placed over articles of clothing on a hanger.

h. Bags used by customers inside a business to package loose items, such as nuts, ground coffee, grains, fruits, vegetables, or candies.

(4) Stores that have adopted practices which eliminate the need for plastic carry out bags as outlined in this subsection do not need to participate in an at-store recycling program.

(f) The manufacturer of a plastic carryout bag shall provide educational materials to all stores required to comply with this section to encourage the reduction, reuse, and recycling of plastic carryout bags and the stores shall place such materials in a conspicuous location, visible to the customers of such store.

(g) (1) Unless expressly authorized by this section, a county, city, or other public agency shall not adopt, implement, or enforce an ordinance, resolution, regulation, or rule to do any of the following:

a. Require a store that is in compliance with this section to collect, transport, or recycle plastic carryout bags.

b. [Repealed.]

c. Impose auditing or reporting requirements upon a store that are in addition to those set forth in paragraph (d)(4) of this section.

(2) This section does not prohibit the adoption, implementation, or enforcement of any county, city or other local ordinance, resolution, regulation, or rule governing curbside or drop off recycling programs operated by, or pursuant to a contract with, a county, city, or other public agency, including any action relating to fees for these programs.

(3) [Repealed.]

(4) This section does not affect any contract, franchise, permit, license, or other arrangement regarding the collection or recycling of solid waste or household hazardous waste.

(h)-(j) [Repealed.]

77 Del. Laws, c. 198, §  179 Del. Laws, c. 385, §  181 Del. Laws, c. 67, § 182 Del. Laws, c. 16683 Del. Laws, c. 216, § 183 Del. Laws, c. 216, §§   2, 3