As of this week, the Oregon ban on plastic shopping bags goes statewide.

Technically, they're classified as 'single use' plastic bags, but now they're not allowed. The  ban that was found in Portland and other cities has spread statewide.

Now, stores can offer reusable bags with or without a fee, most places are charging five cents per bag. Some consumers have chosen to purchase 'fabric' reusable bags, although for years experts have said they need to be washed routinely because they're a breeding ground for bacteria and other potentially harmful growths.

The growths result from dirt, moisture and other substances that 'scrub off' from especially produce into the bag. The warmer environment inside is a like a petri dish, some people around the country have even gotten sick from the secondary growths.

Results are mixed, say some retailers. While some people applaud the move, many others are upset--especially with the extra charges, however small.

We ran into this last summer at a baseball tournament for our daughter in Hillsboro, OR.  We went to a grocery store and were stuck paying and extra five cents for paper bags. It's not THAT big a deal, but it's the concept that we had an issue with.

Hillsboro, like Portland and other areas, have had  such bans for a few years, same for Seattle and other areas of the west side. In Oregon, the five cents you pay goes back to the retailer to help offset bag costs--paper bags are more expensive and actually use up far more natural resources to produce ironically.

If you're on WIC or other state aid in Oregon, the five cents is waived.

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