CLEVELAND (WJW)– Cuyahoga County’s ban on plastic bags quietly went into effect last month.

The ban, an effect to reduce pollution, was supposed to start in July 2020, but was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was pushed to the beginning of 2021, then delayed again. It was officially back on Jan. 16, 2022.

“In recognition of the ongoing pandemic-related challenges that stores and shoppers are facing, the county is allowing stores an extended transition period and additional resources to support this transition,” Cuyahoga County’s website said.

The ban will not be enforced until the end of 2022.

It applies to grocery stores, convenience stores, department stores and more. Retailers can charge customers a fee for plastic bags. Paper bags and those made from at least 40% recycled content are permitted.

Cleveland, Brooklyn, Independence, North Olmsted and Strongsville previously opted out of the ban.