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Cuyahoga County's Plastic Bag Ban Might Be Postponed, Again

Cuyahoga County was originally set to ban plastic bags this July. But when the coronavirus pandemic hit, the ban was put on hold until January 2021, so retailers wouldn't have more chaos amid the pandemic.

Now, it might not come back anytime soon, as a bill to place a one-year moratorium on plastic bag bans and fees heads to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's desk.

State legislators recently passed a bill that would temporarily stop counties and cities from enacting plastic bag bans, citing coronavirus concerns about reusable bags.

Cuyahoga County Councilwoman Sunny Simon said it's about more than just COVID-19.

"I'm just disappointed but not surprised that the Statehouse and Senate would take advantage of the COVID crisis to actually serve the needs of the plastic industry,” Simon said.

The law would be a one-year moratorium on plastic bag bans or fees. Lawmakers passed the proposal, but Gov. DeWine has not yet signed it into law.

County Council members will continue environmental efforts like plastic bag bans, even if they have to wait until the moratorium ends, Simon said.

"I just think it's a step back, and I think we'll get back to where we were, because we're committed to continue on,” she said.

Environmental groups and those who support local control are also against the legislation, but supporters say it will help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends washing reusable shopping bags before reusing them.

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