A NEW fee could hit customers if a proposed regulation passes and buyers riot.
An ordinance in Athens, Ohio hopes to reduce single-use plastic bags around the city.
It was proposed by Councilor Alan Swank at a recent Athens City Council meeting on Monday.
It’s the latest in a series of regulations addressing the use of plastic in the city since 2016.
After August 1st, no store will be able to provide single-use plastic bags to customers.
They also can’t charge for bags unless they’re listed on a customer’s receipt.
According to the rule, customers can bring their own bags to the store.
A fine for providing single-use plastic bags is no more than $100, with a separate violation for each time the store fails to comply with the regulation.
Swank said the deadline has been pushed back to August 1 to give stores like Kroger time to switch.
The deadline also coincides with the arrival of Ohio University students.
“It’s easier to make a switch during your downtime when you only have two customers than when you have 20,” Swank said.
Milena Miller of Athens ReThink Plastics said many companies are ready to make the switch.
Kroger has previously banned single-use plastic bags, including at a Virginia store last year.
The grocery chain has announced that it will phase out all plastic bags by 2025.
Back in 2018, the company announced its plans to phase out single-use plastic bags in its 2,779 stores and managed to reduce plastic bags in all QFC stores in April 2019.
The company also donated $1 to The Nature Conservancy for every reusable bag sold in stores that month.
Kroger has partnered with other stores like Walmart and Target for the Beyond the Bag initiative, which challenges shoppers to explore reusable options and “reinvent” plastic bags.
The store’s attempt to be more environmentally friendly has been adopted by other stores such as Wegmans and Walmart.
Wegmans said that in stores where it has introduced a plastic bag ban, paper bags are used in around 25 percent of transactions, with the rest of sales coming from reusable bags or no bag.
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