No Bag Zone? Dallas Shoppers Must Pay Nickel for Plastic & Paper Bags

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DALLAS, TX— It's the proverbial question everyone must answer while at the grocery store -- paper or plastic? Well, you might not choose either.  Starting New Year’s Day, a bag at the grocery store—paper or plastic—will cost you $.05 a pop.

“I checked myself out, and it said ‘how many bags are you buying today?’” shopper John Terry said. “I knew it was coming.  I forgot, today is the 1st.”

Keep in mind, if you shop outside Dallas city limits, the ordinance does not apply.  The new ordinance pertains specifically to Dallas stores and is the brainchild of Councilman Dwaine Caraway, who wanted to ban the bags. He hopes the move will cut down on litter floating around Big D.

“Either we deal with it today, or we let this pile on for the next five years.  Today, The criminal is the plastic bag,  and the criminal is on trial,” Caraway said at a council meeting on August 21, 2013.

If retailers harbor this criminal, they can get fined up to $500 per day! There are some exceptions—produce bags, take-out bags and dry cleaning bags are all off the hook.  Some folks say, this ordinance is overdue.

“I have some experience because I live in Austin part of the time; it was one of the first places [to do this.]  To me, it makes it much easier to carry these,” shopper Ronald Mitchell said as he shopped with his reusable bag.  “The prices are pretty reasonable. I’ve seen enough of them everywhere. I’m happy they did it.”

Others, would rather sack the policy. “I understand their reasoning for it,” shopper John Terry said.  “But I know there’s some people, that even though it’s five-cents a bag, over time, that can add up and some people probably can’t afford it. It’s a cool idea, but it’s kind of a drag.”

So, now, the standard question should be -- will you double-bag next time you go to market?