You have to admit there’s a certain amount of suspense over how Albany retailers will handle the legislature’s ban on plastic carry-out bags, which takes effect Wednesday.
On Sunday at Fred Meyer, you could get still get all the plastic bags you wanted to take. On Monday, though, two days before the deadline, they were gone. They were replaced by stacks of paper bags. (These paper bags had no handles, which probably makes little difference except to people who stop by on a bike ride for an impromptu purchase, the kind they used to hang from the handle bar.)
At Bi-Mart in Albany, they made the switch a day or two earlier. Only paper bags were available Saturday. A checker told me they had run out of plastic bags and there was no point in ordering more.
As for those paper bags, the law on bags says retailers have to charge their customers a nickel apiece except on up to 12 days a year during promotions. I’m waiting to see how this mandate will be carried out at self check-out stations.
Will there be an honor system? Or will somebody be detailed to count the bags customers take? And will the scanner screens have to be reprogrammed to add a button and display that asks: “If you took our paper bags, how many?”
Whether or not the suspense is killing you, you’ll have to wait till Wednesday to find out. (hh)