Cuyahoga County Councilwoman Sunny Simon discusses plastic bag ban now in effect

On the "Sound of Ideas," Cuyahoga County Councilwoman Sunny Simon discusses plastic bag ban that is now in effect. [Pavel Kubarkov/shutterstock]
On the "Sound of Ideas," Cuyahoga County Councilwoman Sunny Simon discusses plastic bag ban that is now in effect. [Pavel Kubarkov/shutterstock]
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It was only 2019 and 2020 when cities, counties and some states, New York, California and a few others, were choosing to ban plastic bags in businesses, grocery stores, convenience stores, retail and restaurants. One source behind the bans was recyclers, complaining that plastic bags constantly get tangled in sorting machines at their facilities, which can cause major problems, and result in some recycling ending up in landfills. 

Another reason of course, is ecological. It's estimated that globally, people consume the equivalent of a credit card of plastic every week.

Last year, NPR reported that since 2007, more than 240 cities and counties across the United States have either taxed or baned single-use plastic bags. Some regional governments passed bag bans, including Orange Village in 2018, the Columbus suburb of Bexley, and Cuyahoga County in 2019. 

Then the pandemic hit and with it, concerns that carrying reusable bags into public spaces, could transmit the coronavirus. 

Then came the pushback against bans, and in October 2020, Governor Mike DeWine signed into law House Bill 242, which prohibited local governments from banning plastic bags, until January 2022.  In July 2021, DeWine also made permanent a provision preventing municipalities from imposing a tax, or a fee, on plastic bags. 

Now it's April 2022, and you may not have realized that some of these plastic bag bans have come back into effect including Cuyahoga County's ban. 

Many of us were only reminded of this information last week when Pittsburgh-based grocery chain Giant Eagle announced it would be eliminating single-use plastic bags in the county, and at select stores in Columbus and Pittsburgh, starting April 22nd, which is Earth Day. Paper bags will still be offered, but with a fee of 10 cents per bag, excluding people using food-assistance programs. 

The store also said it would be giving away 100,000 free reusable bags to customers beginning on that day. Cleveland, Brooklyn, Independence, North Olmsted and Strongsville previously opted out of the county's ban. 

Joining host Rick Jackson on the "Sound of Ideas" to talk more about the plastic bag ban is Cuyahoga County Councilwoman Sunny Simon of District 11.

Later in the show, we'll talk to local breweries who are raising funds for Ukraine, as the Russia-Ukraine conflict remains ongoing.  

And, SNL favorite and Shaker Heights native Molly Shannnon is coming to town to talk about her new book, "Hello Molly" later this week. Ideastream's Carrie Wise spoke to her ahead of her visit. 

Guests: 

-Councilwoman Sunny Simon, Cuyahoga County Council (District 11)

-Jay Demagall, Owner of Forest City Brewery 
-Matt Smedley, Head Brewer at Forest City Brewery

-Justin Williams, Head Brewer at Catawba Island Brewing Co. 
-Mike Roder, Owner and President at Catawba Island Brewing Co. 

-Molly Shannon, Actress and Comedian
-Carrie Wise, Managing Producer of Arts and Culture, Ideastream Public Media

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