By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
Paper or plastic?
That’s a question you will NOT be hearing from local grocery stores at the start of the new year.
Starting January 1st, Oregon retail stores and restaurants can no longer provide single-use checkout bags.
The hope is to reduce the amount of plastic bags that are used once and thrown out according to oregon.gov
“We go through a lot of bags ourselves here, and just one store we can see how it affects an environment and how big of an impact,” said Blake Shappell, store manager at Bend’s Grocery Outlet. “Just one store times, you know, how many other stores in Bend, Oregon, throughout the country.”
Customers who don’t bring reusable bags will pay a fee at the register.
For Grocery Outlet, it’s 10 cents per paper bag and 15 cents for a plastic option.
Shappell thinks after getting charged, customers will be less likely to forget their reusables.
“People will start realizing how much it’s costing them each time they have to pay for a bag,” he said. “Where you can spend, for us example, ninety-nine cents for a decent reusable. Over ten shopping trips that’s probably…they got their money back right?”
Grocery Outlet switched to paper bags months ago, hoping their customers would have an easier transition by the new year.
“It’s easier to kind of gradually take them into something like that, versus “boom” January 1st we gotta make that change,” he said. “You guys are stuck with it.”
Shappell says charging for bags will be an interesting change.
One that customers have no choice but to get used to.