If you have gone shopping lately, you might have noticed that the plastic shopping bags are back. Although the deadline for retailers was July 1, 2020, some stores had already been shying away from the plastic.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, some stores went back to supplying the plastic bags, as there were questions regarding the possibility of spreading the virus through the use of personal carrier bags. Some stores have adopted guidelines where customers may bring in reusable bags, but must bag their own groceries and take them. The counters are then sanitized after each of these customers remove the bags from the counters.
The Cuyahoga County Council, who initiated the ban, are deciding whether to push the date forward, from July 1, 2020, to January 1, 2021. In the interim, some communities in Cuyahoga County, such as Strongsville, Cuyahoga County Council adopted the plastic bag ban legislation last year. It originally was supposed to take effect on January 1, 2020, but was then pushed to July 1, 2020, in order for those affected retailers to prepare.
In a press release from the Cuyahoga County Office of the Executive, dated April 27, it states that “in the wake of Coronavirus, many businesses, particularly grocery stores, are facing uncertain situations. The County’s suggested delay of enforcement is aimed to help businesses during this difficult time while knowing that residents and shoppers are doing all they can to get in and out of stores as quickly as possible to limit the spread of the virus.”
County Council Representative, Sunny Simon, who sponsored the ban, stated that “the delay of this ban is not to downplay the importance of eliminating plastic bags and the positive impact that will have on our community, but rather to address current anxieties and relieve concerns some are having during this pandemic. Right now, moving the enforcement date to January 1 is in the best interest of our businesses and our residents.”
District 5 County Councilman, Michael J. Gallagher represents North Royalton as part of his district. He did not originally vote for the ban. He noted that “we’ve been recently told that the plastic bags are a danger to our health. A health hazard like this doesn’t go away. It sounds like science is against them.”

Contributing Writer