Ohio county’s ban on plastic bags underway in New Year

CLEVELAND (AP) — A ban on single use plastic bags took effect Wednesday in the Ohio county that’s home to Cleveland, though the ban won’t be enforced with fines until July 1.

Despite the long roll-out, most Giant Eagle grocery stores in Cuyahoga County eliminated the bags beginning New Year’s Day, Fox 8-TV reported.

“It is a big shift for both our customers and our company,” said Giant Eagle spokesperson Dan Donovan. The company will have reusable bags for purchase and customers will receive fuel perks for every reusable bag used.

A few suburbs opted out of the ban, and Cleveland also opted out until July 1 to give a working group time to study the impact of reducing plastic bags on businesses.

Some state lawmakers and business groups say such local bans make it harder for grocers and other businesses to operate, and proposed bills would prohibit local governments from forbidding the use of plastic bags.

But Gov. Mike DeWine opposes those efforts, saying it would be a mistake for state lawmakers to override local government decisions.