CLEVELAND — The plastic bag ban adopted by Cuyahoga County that had been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been quietly in effect for the past month, according to the county's website.
The ban on disposable bags was approved in 2019 and prohibits retailers from provided disposable bags at the checkout while allowing them to provide recyclable paper bags and sell reusable bags.
Stores of all types are included in Cuyahoga County's plastic bag ban, including retail stores, convenience stores, grocery stores, service stations and drug stores.
As the county prepared to implement the ban, COVID-19 hit and the ban was delayed. The concern at the time was having multiple people touch reusable bags and how that might impact the spread of the virus.
Then, in 2021, House Bill 242 passed and prevented local leaders from banning plastic bags until January 2022. At the start of the month, Cuyahoga County Councilwoman Sunny Simon, who helped pass the ban, said that they would be coming out with a slower rollout for 2022 and begin looking for a date for enforcement for the ban.
Simon had said that they planned on putting the ban into effect later in the year, but did say they could pivot at any point.
The ban went back into effect on Jan. 16, according to the county.
Now, the ban is listed as back in effect on the county's website, the county says its first priority is to support retailers through the transition away from the disposable bags.
The enforcement date is expected to be around the holidays at the end of 2022 as the county assists retailers and stores in their transition, a county spokesperson said.
Cities that opted out of the plastic bag ban—Independence, North Olmsted, Strongsville, Cleveland and Brooklyn—are still being encouraged to stop offering disposable bags at checkouts.
RELATED: Plastic bag ban in Cuyahoga County pushed back as grocery stores try to bounce back from pandemic
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