Cuyahoga County handing out to up to $5,000 for stores to stop using plastic bags

Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 6:37 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -Cuyahoga County handing is out up to $5,000 to stores if they stop using plastic bags.

“We’re really hoping that it’s a business that has plastic bags already in their circulation and they want to eliminate them. And those are for grocery stores, convenient stores, even clothing shoes, home goods,” said Katharyne Starinsky, the program officer for Cuyahoga County Consumer Affairs Department.

If you remember, the county approved a plastic bag ban back in 2019.

But because of the pandemic, it never went into effect until last year.

However, several cities decided to opt out, including Cleveland, Brooklyn, North Olmsted and Strongsville.

However, because of supply chain issues, county administrators decided not to enforce it.

Starinsky who heads this initiative hopes, this grant money will give businesses that extra push to become eco-friendly.

“So the number of bags that we have, they end up somewhere. They’re either hauled to a landfill or they become liter, clogging our sewers, waterways,” said Starinsky.

For shoppers like Shellee Pavlak, she is fine with the plastic bag ban. And hopes many stores actually follow through with it.

“I’m glad they do something about it. You can take them to stores and recycle them. It’s easy for me,” said Pavlak.

The deadline for businesses to apply for the money is March 15.

As of now, the county has given out nearly 50,000 reusable bags for people to use.

That’s relatively small compared to the blue grocery bags normally used.

Numbers Starinsky wants to see decrease for the good of the environment.

“Over the course of a year in Cuyahoga County alone, that’s 319 million in plastic bags are consumed annually,” said Starinsky.

Stores will find out this April, during earth month whether or not they qualified for the grant.

Shoppers can expect to see eco-friendly changes in stores soon after that.