Single use plastic bags will no longer be available in Cuyahoga County as its ban took effect at the start of the new year.
In May of 2019, Cuyahoga County Council passed the plastic bags ban in an 8-3 vote. The original date for the ban was going to be October 1, 2019, but got pushed back to January 1 according to cleveland.com. However in December, the county passed a six-month grace period for cities and retailers to adjust to the new measure.
The grace period was given after Cleveland, Brooklyn, Independence and North Olmstead originally outed out of the plastic bags ban. Cleveland, Cuyahoga County’s biggest city, plans to enforce the ban in July after it studies how to reduce plastic waste without hurting businesses.
Cuyahoga County Councilwoman Sunny Simon, who sponsored the bill, told Fox 8 Cleveland the grace period helps out local businesses.
“Cuyahoga County has given a six-month grace period to retailers to be able to unload their inventory of plastic bags and ship it to other stores and get their customers ready,” she said.
Last month, the Ohio House passed a bill that would ban local goverments from outlawing single use plastic bags. Despite this,the Senate has not voted on this measure.
In the past, Gov. Mike DeWine said he favors letting local goverments being able to ban plastic bags.
“I think this would be a mistake. I think the state government should allow local communities to do what they think is best in regard to this area,” he said
Once the grace period is over, retail establishments will receive a written warning for the first violation. Subsequently, if a retail establishment violates the law a second time it will get a $100 fine and a $500 fine for every violation after that.
The county’s plastic bag bans applies to “either non-compostable plastic or compostable plastic provided by retail establishment to a customer at point of sale for the purpose of transporting purchased items.”
Cuyahoga County previously tried to get rid of plastic bags in 2017, but the previous ban included a bag tax instead of banning the bags outright.
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