LYNDHURST, Ohio — A message tonight when you go grocery shopping at Giant Eagle or other stores in Cuyahoga County: Don't forget to bring your own grocery bags when you shop or it may cost you a little more at the checkout.
Cuyahoga County's ban on single-use plastic shopping bags began on January 1. Giant Eagle is following suit as part of its commitment to eliminate them at all of its stores by 2025.
The county has delayed enforcing the ban until July of 2020.
Although Cleveland later opted out of the county's program, the city still plans to join the initiative by July of next year. Critics of single-use plastic say it is bad for the environment, especially with the growing threat of worldwide climate change.
The move has left some customers surprised when they get to the register and have to pay for paper bags.
However, customers have lots of options.
"First and foremost is having customers bring in reusable bags," said Giant Eagle spokesman Dan Donovan. "We're going to make paper bags available to customers in Cuyahoga County."
But that will cost you ten cents a bag. There's another option, according to Donovan.
"For customers who forget or don't have reusable bags when they come into the store, they can purchase reusable bags for 99 cents each," he says.
The Guidos brought their own reusable bags to the Legacy Village Giant Eagle. Losing the plastic ones will take some adjustment
"I was thinking, 'Oh my goodness, I recycle these in my trash cans and now I won't have them anymore,' so I have to figure out what I'm going to do," says Mary Ann Guidos.
The 99 cent bags qualify for a fuel or food "perk" of one per reusable bag. It's a small price for Giant Eagle to pay in the big picture of sustainability.
"The important thing is that you bring that reusable bag and use it because at the core, this is about reducing and eliminating those single use plastics," says Donovan.
So our kids and grandkids aren't left holding the bag.