Plastic Reduction Program

The South Kingstown Town Council adopted the Plastic Reduction Ordinance in the spring 2018 with the purpose to protect wildlife and coastal ecosystems of South Kingstown and promote the health, safety and welfare of South Kingstown's residents and visitors by:

  1. Banning the use of plastic carryout bags for retail checkout of goods.
  2. Encouraging the use of reusable bags.
  3. Reducing the number of plastic carryout bags that enter our waste streams and environment.

Beginning January 1, 2019,  the ordinance prohibits business establishments from providing or making available any plastic carryout bag to members of the public for any sales transaction or other use. 

While the ordinance is primarily focused on single-use plastic bags, there are specific types of bags that are exempt which are listed below:

Plastic barrier bag - any thin plastic bag with a single opening used to:

  1. Transport fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, small hardware items, or other items selected by customers at the point of sale;
  2. Contain or wrap fresh or frozen foods, meat, or fish, whether prepackaged and double opening plastic bags or not;
  3. Contain or wrap flowers, potted plants, or other items where damage to a good or contamination of other goods placed together in the same bag may be a problem;
  4. Contain unwrapped prepared foods or bakery goods;
  5. Contain materials to be hung on an exterior door; or
  6. Contain a newspaper or other printed material for delivery.

Double opening plastic bag - any thin plastic bag with a double opening (top and bottom) to protect clothing or other items for transport, including but not limited to laundry dry cleaning bags.

Packages of multiple bags - intended for use as containers for garbage, pet waste, or yard waste

Bags provided by pharmacists or veterinarians to contain prescription drugs or other medical necessities, provided that the bags are recyclable within the state's recycling program.

Recyclable paper bag – a paper bag that is fully recyclable overall and contains a minimum of 40% post-consumer recycled content and contains no old growth fiber. The bag should display the words “Reusable” and “Recyclable” or the universal recycling log on the outside of the bag.

Reusable bag – a bag, with handles that are stitched and not heat fused, that is specifically designed and manufactured for multiple reuse and is made primarily of cloth or other nonwoven textile or durable plastic with a minimum thickness of four mils.

  1. Bonnie Blair

    Recycling Coordinator
    Phone: (401) 789-9331 x2259


Thank you for doing your part in helping to protect our environment and ensuring the future of South Kingstown as a vibrant, healthy, and sustainable community!