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Bag ban fallout? Shopping baskets disappear from Redmond Safeway

Replacing one stack of baskets could cost up to $200

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ)  – A Redmond Safeway customer told NewsChannel 21 on Friday shopping baskets have been disappearing from the store since the plastic bag ban took effect.

At Oregon grocery stores, single-use plastic bags are no longer a checkout option due to the new state law. Shoppers must pay 5 cents for a paper bag or bring a reusable bag.

Larry Cole of Redmond told NewsChannel 21 that on Feb. 14, he was unable to find a shopping basket at Safeway to use while grocery shopping. He said the store staff told him customers had left the store with the baskets and did not return them. 

Other store checkout clerks in Bend have said much the same thing about depleted supplies of the hand-carried baskets used for lighter shopping trips than the full shopping carts.

According to Cole, the Redmond Safeway employee said the store has ordered more, but the supplier could not keep up with the demand, since people have not returned the baskets after using them. He also said the employee told him the manager did not plan on placing any more orders because the baskets can cost up to $200 per stack. 

"My guess is that people aren't bringing their own bags and they walk out to the parking lot with the basket and just take the basket home,” Cole said. “God knows what these people are doing with them piled up in their kitchen!”

On Friday, NewsChannel 21 noticed there were baskets available at the east entrance of the store. However, the rack at the west entrance was empty.

“I saw about six baskets in there today, but the one rack was totally empty, so perhaps some people have returned them out of a feeling of guilt,” Cole said.

NewsChannel 21 spoke with a representative at the Redmond Safeway store by phone, who did not wish to be identified. She confirmed the stacks of shopping baskets located at two entrances of the store have vanished since the start of the plastic bag ban. 

Joe Gilliam, of the Northwest Grocery Association, said the organization has not heard from grocery stores about shopping basket thefts. 

“If people in Redmond are taking baskets in response to the plastic bag ban, we ask them to please stop,” Gilliam said Friday. “Customers should feel free to ask their grocer if they need extra help or assistance with their groceries. Purchasing and using a few reusable bags is much cheaper than paying hundreds of dollars in criminal penalties.”

Jill McGinnis, the director of public affairs for Safeway and Albertsons, said in an email to NewsChannel 21 on Friday the company “isn’t seeing any difference in the amount of plastic baskets being ordered by the stores at this time,” and added, “This does not appear to be a widespread problem.”

She said reusable bags are readily available at an affordable price for customers who may come to stores unprepared.

In another email, Jeffery Temple, the director of corporate affairs for Fred Meyer, told NewsChannel 21 Fred Meyer stores have not reported missing any shopping baskets.

Author Profile Photo

Rhea Panela

Rhea Panela is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Rhea here.



    1. Not sure. All I know is his family helped my niece who has Epilepsy big time! He paid his dues and has spent the rest of his life helping people including my family; I got no problem with him!!!

    1. Yeah she’s a real genius. The surprising thing is that her ideas get even more ridiculous
      the longer she is in office. Her ‘cap and line her pockets’ is truly the dumbest and potentially most devastating thing that she has dreamed up, but her recent brainstorm to
      remove dams on the Snake river is at least a close second. Thankfully there are enough other politicians who can see how mentally deficient she is, and make sure it won’t happen…
      Of course there won’t be any Dems going against the cap and trade lie because most of them
      stand to benefit financially from that disaster.

  1. I doubt it’s just Redmond. How about putting a basket return place by the shopping cart return area in the parking lot? Let the guilt sink in before they drive away.

  2. I don’t understand how a plastic bag in a landfill for a million years hurts anything, while cutting down trees for paper bags is okay. If folks really cared just reuse the plastic bags until they are unusable, stupid law.

    1. It depends on what their cause is at the time. Stupid enviros can’t make up their minds
      because it isn’t about a particular cause, it’s more an excuse to destroy property and not have to actually work for a living…
      Amazingly they are even more hypocritical than the Dems who support them…
      The entire bag fiasco is ridiculous and a pain in the butt. Just go back to including paper bags with the groceries that are bought in your store. Who knows, that may just stop or at least reduce the theft of the plastic carriers. The homeless people will always be trying to steal the big shopping carts and the Wally Mart and Albertsons in Bend both have nice new
      carts for them to pick from…

      1. or, you could just be responsible and manage toting your consumption with your own containers, as humanity has done forever, and much of the world’s population still does – yea, such a gargantuan task, but you can handle it, really you can

        1. NO!!! I buy something I expect a bag to carry it in. I MAY skip the bag if its only one of two Items I can carry. but more then that I WILL have a bag.

  3. This one I blame on the store. Not saying that it’s the stores fault that people are stealing them, but that it’s the store’s fault for giving them the window of opportunity. When ever I use a hand basket at Albertsons or Freddy’s, the cashier takes it during checkout and sets it aside or on the floor under the counter or sits it next to them. They do not put the purchased items back in the hand basket for the customer to carry out.

  4. Check your Homeless camp’s & homeless on the street’s with baskets even Walmart has a problem all store’s have a problem losing shopping carts to the Homeless

  5. “due to the new state law. Shoppers must pay 5 cents for a paper bag or bring a reusable bag.”

    The new state law doesn’t require store outlets to charge for paper bags- so why do they ?
    Here’s what’s really happening… People are not using large scale carts as much because they don’t have enough of their own bags to hold all the junk they wish to purchase- so instead- they are going to one or two personal bags and a basket.

    The unintended consequences of this new law is that consumers are purchasing less- the data will start to show up in the next few months. In the meantime this forced downsizing in consumer spending will result in layoffs at major supermarkets- the shelves are still full. I’ve already seen this in the various stores that i shop- there is currently more food on the shelves than I’ve ever seen- all have expiration dates- which will require drastic cuts in prices- which will lead to more layoffs.

    A poorly thought out policy by Kate Brown and her minions in Salem.

    1. Yes, it does: 5 cents
      House Bill 2509 which was signed into law during the summer, prohibits retail stores and restaurants from providing single-use checkout bags. They must also charge at least 5 cents per paper bag with more than 40% or more post-consumer recycled content.Dec 23, 2019

      Stores Around The State Begin To Prepare For Oregon’s …

      1. There is nothing in the law that states that retail outlets cannot “pick up” the cost themselves- and aren’t paper bags considered “single use” ? I know that when the Oregon rains hit my paper bags in the cart- they’re good for one soggy use only !

        In any case- I’ll admit- I’m not an expert on the reasoning behind the bill- I am very much aware of the fall-out though. I now see people limiting their store purchases to hand held items only- Now a smart businessman would realize this and start developing more items with handles. In the end- I have no problem with pushing paper products- Oregon should utilize large segments of it’s forestry industry to become the national leader (again) in items like cardboard and paper bags- leave the plastics and petroleum based products for tv’s-computers-and gasoline.

        1. Or… they could just pay a nickel per bag.

          It genuinely blows my mind how effective 5 cents is in changing behavior. Makes me wonder if they could have gotten the same effect with 2 cents.

      2. You could write a book Barney. Call it “Barney’s Liberal Logic” The pages could be made out of recycled toilet paper.

        Lets call Kates plan what it really is. It’s not a bag ban, its a gift to retailers to charge customers for something that was once free. Everything in store sold in one time use plastic containers GOOD, plastic shopping baskets GOOD, multi use recyclable plastic shopping bags BAD !!!

              1. Again- I’m not an expert on this- Is there somewhere in the law that outlines fines or penalties for any retailer not charging for bags- and who is supposed to monitor this… I mean can I squeal on a competitor for being nice to their customers.

                About a month ago I was at a Walmart- and I bought two of their heavy duty plastic bags. The self-serve kiosk asked me “how many bags” to charge- I punched in two- but when I got home- I found an extra bag stuck to the bottom of one of my bags- is this considered shoplifting ? Do I need to turn myself in to the “Bag Police” ?? Being a month ago- has the statute of limitations run out ??? I’m afraid to leave my house !

                1. Yes, it does specify penalties. It also specifies the 5 cent requirement. I suggest you read house bill 2509. It’s quite clear and would disprove about everything you’ve said.

      1. I don’t see it as a political Trump bashing issue as much as it is an environmental- “Gee I want to recycle”- concern.

        If you are “recycling” something- bringing it back time and time again- isn’t that just “short term borrowing” ?

        Maybe not in the world of Democrat haters- where everything is seen as either being a lie or theft- that is until they get in power and start “legalized” theft through increased taxes.

        Feel the Bern yet ?

  6. I heard that when the baskets were stolen, they all had products in them. I guess it was on camera. And though stealing them is wrong, one would think a major corporation like Safeway could easily afford the $200.00 for more baskets. Heck, many of the employees still make minimum wage!

  7. Good times in Oregon. Now everyone has to buy paper, weaker and creates more dreaded “carbon” that plastic bags to produce. A stack of 1000 paper bags takes 10 times the storage space. If they get wet, they are useless. They are basically one time use so you can’t use them for trash liners and dog poop. Try throwing your paper bags in your cooler of your boat. SO, now we all get to go to walmart and buy plastic bags. I would love to see an economic study of other time wasters. It takes longer to load the bags. The bags tear and break ruining products that fall out. And… Where do all those nickles go? The bag ban has to be one of the stupidest progressive ideas ever thought of. I’d love to see how much money went to progressives from the paper industry.

    1. They truly are great times. I mean seriously…where else can you evict a place like Juniper Ridge, then the very net week, wonder where all the shopping carts went? I’d have to pay for that kind of comedy anywhere else but here

  8. With this new plastic bag ban think of all the trees are now going to be destroyed to provide paper sacks. The use of plastics bags started to “Save The Trees”. How long do you think it will be before the use of plastic bags is re-instituted?

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