Title 23
Health and Safety

Chapter 19.18
Plastic Waste Reduction Act [Effective within one year from rules promulgation or on January 1, 2024.]

R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-19.18-2

§ 23-19.18-2. Definitions. [Effective within one year from rules promulgation or on January 1, 2024.]

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(1) “Department” means the department of environmental management.

(2) “Recyclable cardboard box” means a box made of non-waxed cardboard or paper products.

(3) “Recyclable paper bag” means a paper bag that is one hundred percent (100%) recyclable including the handles, contains at least forty percent (40%) post-consumer paper content, and displays the words “Recyclable” and the percentage of post-consumer paper content in a visible manner on the outside of the bag. The term “recyclable paper bag” does not include paper carryout bags at restaurants.

(4) “Retail sales establishment” means any licensed enterprise where the sale or transfer to a customer of goods in exchange for payment occurs in a retail store, flea market, restaurant, or other food service establishment. Retail sales establishments do not include farmers’ markets, bazaars or festivals operated by nonprofit or religious institutions, yard sales, tag sales, or other sales by residents at their homes.

(5) “Reusable bag” means a bag with handles that are stitched and is specifically designed and manufactured for one hundred twenty-five (125) or more reuses, and is made primarily of washable cloth, other durable woven or nonwoven fabric, polyester, polypropylene, or other durable plastic with a minimum thickness of four (4.0) mils.

(6) “Single-use plastic checkout bag” means a carryout bag that is provided to the customer at the point of sale for the purpose of transporting groceries or other retail goods, and is made from compostable or non-compostable plastic and not specifically designed and manufactured for multiple re-use.

The term “single-use plastic checkout bag” does not include the following types of bag:

(i) Bags used by customers inside a business to package loose items, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, ground coffee, grains, candies, or small hardware items;

(ii) Bags used to contain or wrap frozen foods, meat or fish, flowers or potted plants, or other items to contain dampness or prevent contamination of other goods;

(iii) Bags used to contain unwrapped prepared foods or bakery goods;

(iv) Newspaper bags for home newspaper delivery;

(v) Door-hanger bags;

(vi) Laundry, dry cleaning, or garment bags, including bags provided by hotels to guests to contain wet or dirty clothing;

(vii) Bags sold in packages containing multiple bags intended for household or commercial use to contain foods and for garbage, pet waste, or yard waste;

(viii) Bags used to contain live animals, such as fish or insects sold in pet stores; and

(ix) Bags provided to transport partially-consumed bottles of wine.

History of Section.
P.L. 2022, ch. 176, § 1; P.L. 2022, ch. 177, § 1.