PORTLAND, Ore. — A big change will hit Oregon stores on January 1, 2020. A new law will prohibit single-use plastic bags in grocery stores.
House Bill 2509 was signed into law this summer by Oregon's Governor Kate Brown. The law prohibits stores from offering single-use plastic bags, like the ones at checkout lines in the grocery stores.
Some 16 cities throughout Oregon already have a similar ban on single-use bags. Oregon will join California, New York and Hawaii in banning single-use plastic bags.
If you forget to bring a reusable bag, stores are required by law to charge a 5 cent fee for each bag.
Plastic bags used for produce, bulk foods and meat are exempt as are restaurants.
The law was part of a trio of environmentally friendly bills that state legislators hoped would pass. There was the law that requires you to ask for plastic straws at restaurants, instead of automatically getting one. That passed and went into effect immediately. A ban on the use of styrofoam in restaurants failed in the Senate.
The U.S. produced over 126 billion plastic grocery bags in 2015, according to EPA data. Only 12.8% of those bags were recycled.