Resources for York Lodging Providers

How You Can Help York Visitors Adapt to the Plastic Bag Ordinance

Most hotels, motels, B&Bs, rental agencies and private owners who provide lodging to York visitors will not be directly impacted by the ordinance. Those that also operate a gift shop or a restaurant that provides takeout to customers may have to make some operational changes. (see our Retailers page). However, as someone relying on the tourist industry, all of you can choose to make it easier on your guests to embrace the intent of the ordinance - preservation of York's natural resources and the health of our community.

Intent of York Ordinance

The York ordinance prohibiting distribution of single-use plastic carryout bags goes into effect on March 3, 2016. It is important to point out that while the focus of the ordinance is on plastic bags, the intent of the ordinance is to encourage and make it easy for consumers to switch to reusable bags and not to have shoppers switch to paper bags. Paper bags were excluded from the ordinance in order to give retailers a recyclable option for customers who do not bring reusable bags.

Benefits of Preparing Your Guests for their Visit

In the course of BYOB York's educational campaign to encourage people to choose reusable bags over single-use bags, we met many visitors to York. These visitors were enjoying Marketfest or shopping at Farmer's Market. Many of those we spoke with indicated that they lived in or near a place that has already banned bags or is charging for them. Some had visited places in the US or abroad that were doing the same thing. Many of those visitors had either a positive response when we mentioned that York was going for a prohibition on plastic bags or were neutral on it. Plastic bag actions are so widespread in the US, that people are not surprised when they encounter it.

Leading up to the ordinance, people mentioned a concern about its potential impact on tourists. As host to those tourists, we see some opportunities for you who provide lodging to visitors to assist them during their first visits to York under the new ordinance. We share some of our ideas on this page.

Tips for Lodging Providers
  • Use your email list to advise your incoming guests to the new ordinance. Assure them that all retailers will have some type of paper carryout bag available. Suggest they bring their own reusable bags from home if they already use them.
  • Make sure your front desk employees are informed about the York ordinance so they can share that with guests when appropriate.
  • Make a decision about what approach you will take to assist your guests. Will you:
    1. Place a message in your welcome literature to your guests simply alerting them to the ordinance.
    2. Provide them with a standard or customized bag in their room that they can take home.
    3. Sell a customized and low-markup reusable bag in your gift shop or at your front desk.
    4. Include a supply of bags with the rental property that is part of the inventory of the property.
Sample Messages for Guests

To Our Guests

bag logo textWith the aim of protecting the beauty and health of our coastal community, single-use plastic carryout bags will no longer be distributed at retail establishments in York beginning this year. While York merchants will have alternative carryout bags available, the intent of our ordinance is to encourage the long-term use of reusable bags. Many retailers in town have reusable bags available for purchase.

[Note: For establishments that want to inform their guests of the ordinance but do not want to provide bags for their use. You could also offer customized bags in your gift shop or at your front desk for sale. If you are going to have a bag for sale, add that to your note.  If not, one source of reusable bags you might mention is the gift shop at Sohier Park (Nubble). They will be selling a value-priced reusable bag in the shop this coming season featuring the lighthouse logo and a “bring your own bag” message.]


reusable bag greenTo Our Guests

With the aim of protecting the beauty and health of our coastal community, single-use plastic carryout bags will no longer be distributed at retail establishments in York beginning this year. While York merchants will have alternative carryout bags available, the intent of our ordinance is to encourage the long-term use of reusable bags. As a valued visitor, we have included a reusable bag in your room for use while you are visiting York. Please take it home with you and use it shopping in your hometown.

[For establishments that wish to provide a free customized or generic reusable bag to their guests to take home.]


yellow shopping bag with groceriesTo Our Guests

With the aim of protecting the beauty and health of our coastal community, single-use plastic carryout bags will no longer be distributed at retail establishments in York beginning this year. The intent of the York ordinance is to encourage the long-term use of reusable bags. For your convenience, we have added reusable bags to the house inventory for use while you are visiting. In addition, York merchants will have alternative paper carryout bags available.

[For those renting houses and where you plan to clean the bags between guests. Tip: Natural fiber bags are easy to wash.]


The above messages can be easily relayed on simple tent or flat cards, string tags on bags you provide, or included in your welcome materials to your guests.

Get our Tips for Lodging Providers in pdf format.