Bags Plastic Bans US

Oregon Single-Use Bag Ban Goes Into Effect

If you live in Oregon and you've been shopping anywhere since 2020 started, you might have noticed something different. Single-use plastic bags are now banned in Oregon.

Stores can provide recyclable checkout bags for a minimum of five cents.

“I think there will probably be quite a few upset people,” said Oregon shopper Kimberly Plisek.

Lawmakers say the new law’s goal is to help the environment.

“Most people are ok with it,” said Faelynn Spilker, employee at Columbia Harvest Foods in Umatilla. “We get a lot of people saying they agree.”

State legislators say plastic bags are a problem in the state’s recycling programs. They say they often end up in recycling bins, and when that happens, it contaminates a recycling stream and endangers workers who have to untangle them.

Plus, they hope it address the large amount of plastic in the ocean, which threatens Oregon’s marine wildlife.

Oregon shoppers say they hope it helps with litter.

“To me it’s great because it’s going to help the environment and there’s not going to be plastic blowing around everywhere,” said Charles Stuckey.

Employees at Columbia Harvest Foods in Umatilla said they’ve had to deal with disgruntled shoppers.

“Some people have like left the store without taking their carts with them and just won’t buy groceries because they don’t want to pay for bags,” Spliker said.

The grocery store put out a couple reusable bag options a few days ago. They now carry both fabric and a thick plastic. The bags range in price from a quarter to a dollar.

Plisek bought four.

“Today’s the first day that I went shopping with the new law and I needed them so I bought them,” Plisek said.

She says she plans to keep them in her car.

Washington residents say it’s only a matter of time until they have a bag ban too.

“I do believe eventually it will come to Washington because it’s helping the environment,” said Bennie David.

The single-use plastic bags to bag bulk items or fruits and vegetables are still ok. Shoppers will not be charged a fee for those.

The five cents from the bags will go back into the business you bought the bag from.

If you use WIC benefits, the five-cent bag fee will not apply to you.

Restaurants are also allowed to give recyclable or reusable bags without a fee.



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Oregon single-use bag ban goes into effect

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