City of San Mateo Law Library
City of San Mateo Municipal Code.


(a) "Customer" means any person obtaining goods from a retail establishment.

(b) "Garment bag" means a travel bag made of pliable, durable material, with or without a handle, designed to hang straight or fold double and used to carry suits, dresses, coats, or the like without crushing or wrinkling the same.

(c) "Nonprofit charitable reuser" means a charitable organization, as defined in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or a distinct operating unit or division of the charitable organization, that reuses and recycles donated goods or materials and receives more than 50% of its revenues from the handling and sale of those donated goods or materials.

(d) "Person" means any natural person, firm, corporation, partnership, or other organization or group however organized.

(e) "Prepared food" means foods or beverages which are prepared on the premises by cooking, chopping, slicing, mixing, freezing, or squeezing, and which require no further preparation to be consumed. "Prepared food" does not include any raw, uncooked meat product or fruits or vegetables which are chopped, squeezed, or mixed.

(f) "Public eating establishment" means a restaurant, take-out food establishment, or any other business that receives 90% or more of its revenue from the sale of prepared food to be eaten on or off its premises.

(g) "Recycled paper bag" means a paper bag provided at the check stand, cash register, point of sale, or other point of departure for the purpose of transporting food or merchandise out of the establishment that contains no old growth fiber and a minimum of 40% post-consumer recycled content; is 100% recyclable; and has printed in a highly visible manner on the outside of the bag the words "reusable" and "recyclable," the name and location of the manufacturer, and the percentage of post-consumer recycled content.

(h) "Retail establishment" means any commercial establishment that sells perishable or nonperishable goods including, but not limited to, clothing, food, and personal items directly to the customer; and is located within or doing business within the geographical limits of the City of San Mateo. "Retail establishment" does not include public eating establishments or nonprofit charitable reusers.

(i) "Reusable bag" means either a bag made of cloth or other machine washable fabric that has handles, or a durable plastic bag with handles that is at least 2.25 mil thick and is specifically designed and manufactured for multiple reuse. A garment bag that meets the above criteria is also a "reusable bag," whether or not it has handles or not.

(j) "Single-use carry-out bag" means a bag other than a reusable bag provided at the check stand, cash register, point of sale or other point of departure, including departments within a store, for the purpose of transporting food or merchandise out of the establishment. "Single-use carry-out bags" do not include bags without handles provided to the customer: (1) to transport prepared food, produce, bulk food or meat from a department within a store to the point of sale; (2) to hold prescription medication dispensed from a pharmacy; or (3) to segregate food or merchandise that could damage or contaminate other food or merchandise when placed together in a reusable bag or recycled paper bag.