BELLINGHAM - The transition was smooth in local stores as the first day of a plastic bag ban hit Bellingham Wednesday, Aug. 1.
As part of the citywide ban, stores will no longer offer single-use plastic bags at checkout, and they'll charge 5 cents per paper bag as a means to encourage shoppers to use reusable bags.
"So far, the first day has been smooth," Target supervisor Erin Geist said Wednesday afternoon. "There are some that are annoyed by it, but for the most part everyone has been responding pretty well."
Customers at the Lakeway Fred Meyer have taken the ban well, food manager Mike Miller said. He thought the city had done a good job of letting people know about the ban so people didn't get caught off guard by the change at the checkout.
At Bellingham Cost Cutter and The Markets stores, shoppers seemed pretty prepared for the loss of plastic bags, said Sue Cole, spokeswoman for The Markets. On Wednesday, there was a mix of people who had brought their own tote bags, paid for paper or picked up a reusable bag at the store.
"There may be some people who are unhappy about it, but most people are fairly understanding and they accept the reasons (for the ban) and they're willing to make those changes," she said.
She's heard a few people in the past months say they'll take their shopping outside of Bellingham because of the ban, but she doesn't think that will materialize. Mostly, she thinks it will take a little time for people to get in the habit of bringing their own bags to the store.
"Within a couple weeks, I think it'll be a non-issue," she said.
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