Portland's plastic bag ban keeps clerks busy

Portland's plastic bag ban keeps clerks busy

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by KGW Staff

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kgw.com

Posted on October 15, 2011 at 5:08 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 25 at 5:42 PM

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How has the plastic grocery bag ban changed your daily routine?

PORTLAND – Saturday was the first day of Portland's ban on plastic bags at the checkout counter and clerks were busy explaining the change to shoppers.

Mayor Sam Adams also spoke out, offering encouragement to shoppers.

The ban applies to those thin plastic bags we're used to seeing at the check-out stands at larger grocery stores and at shops like Target, Walmart or Walgreens.

Under the ban, shoppers will still be able to get paper bags at no additional cost. Stores that fail to comply with the ban could face a $500 fine.

Many stores were also offering shoppers alternatives. For example at Safeway stores customers will also be able to purchase much thicker reusable plastic bags for ten cents.

At many stores shoppers will be able to get paper bags at no additional cost. Individual retailers will be able to decide if they provide or charge for paper.

“Ultimately, the goal with the City of Portland, Safeway and other retailers is to move our customers to reusable bags and we're still going to provide the opportunity to our customers to utilize reusable cloth and reusable plastic,” said Dan Floyd, spokesperson for Safeway.

The ban has strong support in Portland, but Adams said he knew that some shoppers would still be unhappy about the new rules.

“Changing habits is always hard,” he said at an event in Northeast Portland. “I want everyone to be really nice to the cashiers at the checkout lines. You can be grumpy with your mayor; don't be grumpy with the cashiers.”

More: Shoppers encouraged to bring 'reusable' bags

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