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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.

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