Bring Your Bag
Reimagine clean desert-scapes and a city free of plastic clutter. Reimagine the possibilities of our community doing their part and helping to protect our health and the environment in Las Cruces.
Plastics are harmful to our environment and contribute to polluting our land, air, and food. The City of Las Cruces is committed to reducing single-use plastics, starting in January 2022 plastic bags will not be available at most retailers. Without a reusable bag, retailers will be collecting ten cents for single-use paper bags. You can help to do your part by bringing a usable bag on your next shopping trip! Not only will you be helping to save our environment, but also money!
Let's commit to a Greener, Cleaner, Cruces!
- On average, a plastic bag is only used for a total of 12 minutes.
- An average person ingests about a credit card's worth of plastic each week.
- Littered bags are eaten by wildlife block their digestive system.
For those of you that want to dive deeper into your understanding of the impacts of plastics on health, wildlife, and the environment here are some excerpts and resources.
Why a Plastic Bag Ordinance?
Most plastic, single-use carry-out bags are harmful to both the environment and humans. Often these bags do not biodegrade and remain in the environment for years. It also contributes to the growing problem of litter and pollution, impacting the city's tourism and aesthetics. It becomes in effect on January 1, 2022.
Who is Impacted?
All retail establishments in the City of Las Cruces. At this time, restaurants and nonprofit organizations will not be impacted at this time.
What Bags Are Still Allowed?
Laundry dry cleaning bags, door-hanger bags, newspaper bags, bags intended for waste, bags provided by pharmacists or veterinarians to contain medical items, bags used by consumers in retail establishments to contain bulk items or contain/wrap frozen foods, meat, or fish.
What Are Alternatives?
Anything can be a reusable bag! A used gift bag, an old purse or tote, even a diaper or gym bag!
Retailers are asked to collect a $0.10 environmental service fee (plus tax) for each paper bag sold to a non-exempt customer. Retail establishments are asked to submit a remittance form and a check for 50% of the environmental service fee (not including taxes) within 15 days of the close of each quarter, (e.g., April 1-15; July 1-15; October 1-15; and January 1-15).
Submission of the environmental service fee remittance form and payment can be mailed to the City of Las Cruces or submitted in person to the cashiers office on the first floor of City Hall at 700 N. Main or mailed to the Cashier’s Office, City of Las Cruces, PO Box 20000, Lasa Cruces, NM 88004. The form itself also has instructions on how to properly fill in the required information. Please see the Retailer FAQ’s questions for more information.
Please note: For Customers with Government Benefits Exemption
Retail establishments shall not collect the environmental service fee from any person with a voucher or electronic benefits cards issued under Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families Program (TANF), or the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP; also known as Basic Food Stamps). If a customer makes a purchase and has items that are non-governmental benefits eligible with their purchase they should not be charged the ten-cent fee. For example, a customer buys milk, eggs, and scissors and pays with WIC and there is a remaining balance for the scissors they should not be charged the ten-cent fee.