Plastic Bag Ban

plastic bag ban act coverBeginning January 1, 2017

All businesses in the Virgin Islands are prohibited from providing plastic checkout bags and non-recyclable paper bags for groceries or other merchandise.

>Download ACT 7938 - Plastic Bag Ban(PDF format)


Beginning April 1, 2017

Any business violating any provision or any regulation adopted by law will be subject to:

  1. An order to discontinue distribution of prohibited bags, and
  2. A civil fine of not less than $500 or more than $1,000 for each day of violation.


Exemptions include:

  • Bags used inside a business to package loose items such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, ground coffee, grains, candies and or small hardware items;
  • Bags used to contain or wrap frozen foods, meat, or fish , flowers or potted plants or other items to contain dampness;
  • Bags used to protect or transport prepared foods, beverages, or bakery goods;
  • Bags for prescription medication, newspaper home delivery bags, door-hanger bags, laundry, dry cleaning, or garment bags including bags to provide d to hotel guest to contain wet or dirty clothing;
  • Bags sold in packages containing multiple bags intended for use as garbage, pet waste, or yard waste bags;
  • Bags used to contain live animals, such as fish or insects sold in pet stores; or
  • Bags used to transport chemical pesticides, drain-cleaning chemicals, or other caustic chemicals sold at the retail level; provided that this exemption is limited to one bag per customer.


Checkout Bags Allowed

 recyclable paper bagRecyclable Paper Bags

  • One hundred percent recyclable;
  • Contains a minimum of 40% recycled content; and
  • Display the word “Reusable” and Recyclable” in a highly visible manner on the outside.


reusable bagReusable Bags

A bag with handles that is specifically designed and manufactured for multiple reuse and is made of:

  • Cloth or other washable fabric; or
  • Durable material for reuse, including plastic that is at least 2.25 mils thick.