CLEVELAND (WJW)-- Cuyahoga County Council postponed enforcement of its new plastic bag ban.
While the ban goes into effect on Jan. 1, there is a six-month grace period until the department of consumer affairs begins issuing warnings and fines. A county spokeswoman said the delay is intended to give retailers time to adjust.
According to Cuyahoga County's ordinance, the "disposable plastic bag" ban will apply to bags made from "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."
The ordinance includes a written warning for first offenses, followed by a $100 fine then a $500 fine for second and third offenses, respectively. The fines would be imposed against the retailers and be enforced by the Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs.
The ban does not apply to the following:
- bag the customer brought with them
- newspaper bag
- bag provided by a pharmacist that contains a prescription drug
- bag used to package bulk item or to contain or wrap a perishable item such as meat, fish, produce, backed goods or flowers
- bag that a restaurant gives a customer to take prepared or leftover food or drink from the restaurant
- bag intended for use as a dry cleaning, garbage, or yard waste bag
- pre-packaged bags used for the collection of pet waste
- non-permitted paper bags or permitted paper bags
- bags provided to the consumer for the purpose of transporting a partially consumed bottle of wine pursuant to Section 4301.62(E) of the Ohio Revised Code
- bag provided at curbside pickup or point of delivery
Earlier this month, the city of Cleveland opted out of the ban temporarily. Cleveland's ordinance set up a group to study ways to reduce the use of disposable bags without hurting businesses. If council does not come up with its own legislation by June 1, 2020, the county's ban will go into effect.
The city of Brooklyn also passed an ordinance making its stores exempt. Brooklyn requires stores larger than 30,000 square feet provide collection bins for disposable plastic bags.
**See how Giant Eagle is cutting down its plastic use in the video, above**