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C.O. grocery stores place new restrictions on reusable bags

Part of the precautions to keep cashiers and clerks safe

BEND, (KTVZ ) -- A statewide plastic bag ban took effect on Jan. 1, requiring most customers use to reusable bags. With the spread of the novel coronavirus, to maintain safe practices, some stores are no longer accepting them.

Bi-Mart in Bend is no longer letting customers use reusable bags. Customers are required to purchase a five-cent paper bag or carry their purchases out by hand. Bi-Mart is using the remainder of the plastic bags they have in store, in addition to paper bags.

Other stores like Albertsons, Fred Meyers and Safeway are temporarily requesting customers who choose to use a reusable bag to bag their own groceries. They will continue to bag groceries in paper or multi- use plastic.

While some customers don't mind paying the five cents for bags, others feel stores should not be charging for a situation that is out of the customers' control.

Shopper Lee Bennett said, "The coronavirus is very scary, and I don't blame them. I think it's a smart idea, not having other old bags brought in. Doesn't really matter to me, one way or another. I've got a car full of bags, so if you need some bags, let me know."

Another shopper, Brad Mandal, said, "I don't have a problem with 10 cents per bag. It seems pretty minor. with the cost of the groceries."

Shopper Anthony Umbarger said, "My opinion, to be honest with you, is that people are kind of over-exaggerating. I think reusable bags -- you should be able to bring them into the stores and use them. I mean, they're not touching them." 

The stores said they will continue to have restrictions on reusable bags indefinitely, or until the spread of the coronavirus is controlled.

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Arielle Brumfield

Arielle Brumfield is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Arielle here.



        1. “I also have a collection of masks and nitrile gloves.”

          Not to mention probably a big ol “Yosemeti Sam” “Back-Off” decal on your truck !

          Yeh I seen you clowns around town !

  1. I appreciate that employees at Bimart, Safeway, are still there so I can get what I need. The reusable bags can (low odds) be a virus vector. I’m happy to comply with what ever measures make workers feel safer.

  2. Hate to add to the unemployment situation, but if the stores are worried about their cashiers why dont they just have the self checkout registers. Look if someone is infected they are also touching the products and the money which then the cashier touches the product to scan it. So then if not debit there is hard cash that is exchanged. So all this bag talking is pointless. Just pointing out. Have no solutions.

      1. And tossing down a nickel for a paper bag seems to be the most disturbing issue need in your life ! All you self proclaimed successful “stock traders- real estate tycoons- work from homers… that can’t seem to pony up a nickel for a bag ??? Hopeless !

        MuGuWuSa !!!

          1. It isn’t about a nickel. It’s about a stupid law forced upon us by government. Really? Plastic bags, which the greenies wanted, are the real problem in Oregon? Salem can pass that but not stock up on medical supplies?

  3. A new revenue stream for the stores forced on them by the state ban? Odds are good there is some kind of out of sight fee associated that the stores “get” to pay the state.

  4. End the ban on disposable bags and the bag tax. It truly did ABSOLUTELY nothing to help our environment. Grocery bags are not the only plastic bags in use. Try Costco. Two loaves of bread come each wrapped in plastic then each put into a plastic bag and then both placed into one more bag. that’s five bags for two loaves of bread. Produce bags, candy bags, apple bags, potato bags, plastic gravel bags, sand bags, cereal bags, garbage bag, ziploc bags, sandwich bags, etc. the list goes on and on. But they have made the enemy grocery bags and straws. End the ban!

  5. Very smart move. I have no problem paying the extra 5 cents. I actually like the plastic bags anyway I use them all over the farm for various things.

  6. WOW, so the reusable bags that are saving the environment, have the potential of spreading germs, viruses, e coli, botulism, ect. This should have been a no brainer for Kate brown, Oh, never mind, it is. Easy solution, Just purchase a NEW reusable bag when you go to the store, and dispose of it when you get home, or wash it every time with a sanitising detergent, that is also harmful to the environment. It sure is all about forward thinking, isn’t it.

      1. Ok, the article says: “Customers are required to purchase a five-cent paper bag or carry their purchases out by hand.”. My questions was (in case you missed it) Why cannot customers pack into their own reusable bags (so the cashier does not touch it)?
        So what exactly did I miss in you opinion?

  7. I guess it’s time to not allow bags of any kind because they don’t know who has handled them or sneezed on them. Probably should get rid of all of the shopping carts as well, because those things are a rolling germ magnet, and I really don’t think that sanitizing the handle is going to solve the problem although it surely helps some, and is at least a common sense precaution…

    I understand their thinking with the sneeze /germ shields that stores are installing but I think they are more of a token step than anything because it doesn’t do anything for people that are standing next in line, or the workers that are bagging groceries. Let’s not forget
    the people in the other line that is behind the checker in your line. If something were to happen and they sneezed or coughed, some people have the decency to turn their head
    away from the people in front of them, so they are going to send the germs and or projectiles directly at the checker in your line as well as you…

    While the things I mentioned are certainly true and possible it was meant to be sarcastic, because as ridiculous as this is getting, it probably won’t be long until all employees and shoppers are required to put on complete bio-hazard suits while they are in the store.

  8. It’s all about the feeeeelz. Who cares that reusable bags drag germs around everywhere. We did “something.” Queen Kate didn’t buy ventilators and masks but at least she banned plastic bags, gave millions to her new pet bureaucracy, and there is always plenty of money for illegal aliens.

  9. At one point it was plastic bags replacing paper bags will save all the trees. Then it was re-usable bags will save the planet from plastic bags. Now we are back to paper bags again.

    1. That why we old farts don’t believe a word of the “experts.” We were all going to die from the new ice age. Then the ozone hole. Then the population bomb. Then ddt. Then acid rain. Then global warming. Now climate change. They are liars. It amazes me people still fall for their decades of proven lies.

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