Information for Retailers
Cuyahoga County’s Disposable Bag Ban prohibits stores from distributing plastic bags at the checkout. In light of ongoing supply chain issues and Ohio’s effort to “ban the ban,” the County has opted to not issue fines to stores. Many large retailers have already stopped using plastic checkout bags because of their corporate commitments to a cleaner environment. To help smaller stores make the transition away from plastic checkout bags, the County has developed the Sustainable Stores Program.
Plastic production and pollution have negative effects that jeopardize our economic opportunities and the health of our land, waterways, and neighborhoods. Many retailers have already limited or eliminated their use of plastic bags, working to align themselves with growing consumer demands for environmental consciousness and benefitting the economy in the long run.
Why should retailers reduce plastic bag usage?
- Customers favor it. In a 2019 survey of Cuyahoga County shoppers, 72% were in favor of a plastic bag ban.
- Join a growing sustainability movement. Many retailers that have taken steps to eliminate plastic bags at checkout counters view it as a plus for their brand to reduce plastic waste.
- Save overhead costs on plastic. You can reduce overall demand – and costs – for checkout bags by encouraging customers to bring their own reusable bags.
- Help protect Lake Erie and our communities. By working to create neighborhoods and waterways free from plastic bag litter and chemicals, you are protecting our most valuable resources and ensuring that we as a region are economically competitive, healthy, and thriving.
Helping your store transition:
- Post “Remember Your Bags” signs on the front door/window and/or in the parking lot.
- Sell reusable woven bags (rated for a minimum of 75 uses that can carry 18 pounds) near the checkout.
- Provide an incentive for customers to bring their own bags.
- Visit the Communications Toolkit for resources and ideas.
At the Checkout:
- If paper bags are available, ask, “do you NEED a bag?” rather than “do you WANT a bag?”
- Thank customers for bringing in their own bags.
- Encourage customers to use a reusable bag, which are stronger for longer trips walking or taking public transit.
- Include a BYOBags flyer in store-provided paper bags.
- Allow customers to use leftover cardboard boxes for purchases.