As expected, Cuyahoga County Council voted Tuesday to create a countywide ban on single-use plastic bags. The measure passed by an 8-3 margin.
The ban will take effect on January 1, 2020 and it will outlaw retailers from providing single-use plastic bags and paper bags that are not 100 percent recyclable or made from at least 40 percent of recycled material. It wouldn’t apply to plastic bags that customers bring with them, bags used for carry-out orders of prepared food/leftovers, newspapers or perishable items such as produce, meat, and garbage. Bags used for dry cleaning, and pre-packaged bags for pet waste are also excluded from the ban.
Retailers that are first-time violators of the ban would be subject to a written warning, with second violations carrying a civil fine of $100 and subsequent violations resulting in fines up to $500. Enforcement will be handled by the Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs.
Cuyahoga county becomes the first county in the state to pass such a ban. Orange Village was the first municipality in Ohio to enact a ban on disposable plastic bags last December.
The council vote ran along party lines, with all Democrats in support of ban, and Republicans voting against it.
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