Plastic bag ban takes effect Wednesday

Plastic bag ban takes effect Wednesday
Photo courtesy Flickr user zeevveez (Creative Commons).

EUGENE, Ore. - Paper or plastic?

Soon, you won't have that option.

The bag ban officially goes into effect Wednesday, May 1. 

"What I'll do on Tuesday night is I'll pull all my plastic bags and I will send them to another store so nothing is going to get thrown away or wasted," said Fred Meyer Store Manager Henry Johnson.

Fred Meyer along with every other grocery and retail store will pull all plastic from its checkout counters.

Most people seem to like the idea of doing away with plastic bags.

"Environmentally speaking, it's a really good idea. These things stick around in the environment and they are probably making an island half as big as Texas out in the ocean so  its a good idea to get rid of it," said Robert Goodfellow.

"The plastic I'm glad to see it go. I just think its environmentally unsound," added Dean Walker.

So what are your options as of May 1st? Bring your own reusable bags or pay 5 cents for each paper bag you use.

"There is a couple goals with the 5 cent up charge," Johnson said. "First off, paper bags are extremely expensive. A plastic bag is less than a penny, paper bag ranges between 4 and 8 cents, so that's a huge increase in costs."

If you have reusable bags, Fred Meyer will give you 5 cents off each bag used.

"A reusable bag will last you hundreds of shopping trips whereas a plastic bag is one or two times before its shredded and cant be used anymore," Johnson said.

The thin, clear plastic bags found in the produce and meat sections will be the only plastic still allowed after the ban goes into effect.