CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - ) In less than three weeks, a ban on plastic bags will take effect in Cuyahoga County.
Cleveland has opted out for six months and the city of Brooklyn has also decided not be participate in the ban as well.
The city of Cleveland has worked closely with the county on the issue and it appears, despite the January first effective date, we could still see plastic bags throughout Northeast Ohio.
“What the county has indicted to us is the ban’s not going to take effect right away,” said Cleveland Councilman Tony Brancatelli. “The law will take effect but the enforcement won’t happen for the next six months six months while they’re continuing to roll out.”
Brancatelli said there hasn’t been enough education of the public about alternatives -- including multi-use bags -- to start by January 1st.
Grocers have lobbied against the ban because of the higher cost but Brancatelli said the city’s decision to delay was driven by a lack of information. “It was less the grocers. It was more the residents who were going to be stuck having to lug their bags home or figuring out how to do it.”
Shoppers like Cecilia Cotterman agree. “I think it’s something we should be doing and working toward but I think it might be better as a a slow change instead of one drastic,” Cotterman said.
The state of Ohio has now stepped in, passing a bill in the Ohio House 57 to 35 to prohibit municipalities to enact bans and the Senate expected to follow suit, which would undo all the work of local municipalities.
“The state likes to step on local rule and stepping on local home rule is troubling for many of us,” said Brancatelli.
But regardless of laws and opt-outs, Brancatelli expects everyone to continue to use plastic come January first.