Smooth Start for Eugene’s Plastic Bag Ban
Officially effective yesterday, May 1st, Eugene, Oregon’s plastic bag ban got off to a smooth start. Workers at local supermarkets, clothing retailers and other businesses started communicating the new options to their customers in many ways, one being the question…paper or reusable tote bag?
“I think they should have banned plastic a long time ago,” said 33-year-old Jermy Brooks while paying for groceries at Grocery Outlet in west Eugene on Wednesday afternoon. Brooks said he doesn’t mind chipping in the extra 5 cents that retailers are required to charge for paper bags.
According to the manager of Grocery Outlet, Rod Kinney, a lot of his customers already bring in their reusable bags. The official start of the ban seemed like a normal day, he said, because the store started using paper bags about a month ago. “We’ve been easing people into it,” Kinney said. “No complaints yet.”
Stephanie Scafa, the city’s zero waste analyst, reported that the first day of the plastic bag ban was easy for most businesses. Scafa said no businesses complained about the ban Wednesday, and only a few called with questions about clarification. “I’m really happy about that,” she said.
Eugene is the third city in Oregon to pass a plastic bag ban, joining Corvallis and Portland.