Many Portlanders have gotten into the habit of bringing their own reusable bags to grocery stores. For them, the new law prohibiting single-use plastic bags in grocery stores that went into effect January 1 will have little impact. For others, the transition may take more getting used to.

House Bill 2509 puts the entire State of Oregon, not just some of its cities, in alignment with California, Hawaii and New York instituting a ban on single-use plastic bags. 

The bill was signed into law over the summer by Governor Kate Brown and exempts plastic bags used for produce, bulk foods and meat in grocery stores in addition to restaurants from the ban. 

By law stores will be required to charge customers five cents per bag that is needed. 

To help those making the bringing of bags to the store a new habit, consider keeping a supply in your vehicle or bicycle. Typically walk or take public transportation? Try stashing one or two bags in whatever bag is usually used when going out to avoid paying for new bags in the New Year.