MEDFORD, Ore. – The shopping experience at dozens of grocery stores across Oregon is changing. After this weekend, four grocery store chains will no longer use plastic bags.
A state-wide plastic bag ban is expected to be proposed in Salem again this spring, but beginning Monday, plastic bags will no longer be an option at dozens of grocery stores.
Shoppers instead will have two options: use paper or reusable bags. Ray’s Food Place, Shop Smart, C and K Market and Lo Bucks are all banning plastic bags, saying they want to set a new standard to the help the environment. Research shows it takes more than a thousand years for a plastic bag to break down in a landfill. Shoppers have mixed feelings about this switch.
“Paper is just so much more cumbersome, you know, and we haven’t purchased any recyclable bags or anything like that. I just think of how much more paper we’re going to be using,” said Shopper Carol Dumble
“You have to get rid of the plastic bags and get these. You use them all the time and they’re cute,” remarked another shopper, Charlotte Alexander.
The parent company of the four grocery store chains are giving customers a small incentive to switch. If customers bring in their own reusable bag each time they shop, they can get five cents off their entire purchase.
There’s already one store in Southern Oregon that went plastic-less. Albertsons in Ashland changed its policy last year in February and has been getting positive reactions; about %60-70 of their customers are now bringing in reusable bags.