CORVALLIS, Ore. — The second phase of the plastic bag ban in Corvallis went into effect Monday. Businesses with less than 50 employees joined the rest of the city’s retailers in complying with the ordinance. It caught some shoppers off guard, like Corvallis resident James Bond, who had to carry out his groceries by hand.
Since the ordinance was introduced six months ago, it’s undergone some changes.
“There were a couple exemptions added along the way. The five cents minimum charge only applies to barrel size bags which is your typical large grocery bags, and the 40 percent post-consumer content only applies to barrel size bags,” said Sustainability Program Specialist Scott Dybvad.
Businesses can still hand out plastic bags if they are thicker than 2.25 mils because the bags are considered reusable. Also, bags provided anywhere else besides checkouts, like in the fruit and vegetable aisles, are still allowed. The owner of Grocery Outlet fears the ban will chase away his customers.
“Our biggest concern is customers are taking their business elsewhere, outside of Corvallis. It’s a huge concern of ours,” said Terry Nuemann of Grocery Outlet.
Merchants who have large inventories of non-compliant bags that were purchased before the ordinance took effect can apply for an exemption on Wednesday.