The price of plastic bags

A woman exiting Kroger is carrying her items in plastic bags. If this were in Dallas, she would have to pay a fee to use such bags.

Donnelle Brache

A woman exiting Kroger is carrying her items in plastic bags. If this were in Dallas, she would have to pay a fee to use such bags.

Hannah Ortega, Staff Reporter

In Dallas, the sight of shoppers with plastic bags was a regular sight; but now, it’s becoming a thing of the past as the city’s plastic bag ban went into effect Jan. 1. Stores are now required to charge five cents for plastic bags, and citizens are encouraged to bring their own bag from home.  Paper bags are also included in this ban.

“We really discourages the use of plastic bags,” Whole Foods marketing team leader Matt Silva said. “We know they’re harmful for the environment, and we do everything we can to encourage our guests to bring their own, so yes I feel, I can’t speak for Whole Foods, but me personally, I feel that it’s beneficial to the environment.”

Whole Foods has been using eco-friendly bags long before the ban came to Dallas.

“We always encourage people to bring a reusable bag, and of course we give a credit to anybody who brings in their own bags and we will offer a paper bag, but Whole Foods market hasn’t used plastic bags for a long, long time,” Silva said.

The charge on bags could help the environment, but at a cost.

“I’m an econ teacher so I also have to think about the costs that’s going to be associated with that because they’re very, very inexpensive,” economy teacher Bruce Dillow said. “So on the other side of that it’s going to help out environmental wise, but it’s probably going to raise prices on the things for all the people that are handing out the bags.”

Anny Cruz, a Kroger co-manager, shared her personal opinion on what she thinks would happen if the ban came to Allen.

“I cannot answer for Kroger. Personally I would say that we would like to just keep it like it is that people will not pay for bags since we’ve been providing them all along,” Cruz said. “I think it will be easier here because they already know that Dallas is charging for it obviously, and I’ve been shopping in Dallas to and when I go into a store they ask me do you want to go ahead and just buy a bag and I say, ‘No, let me go ahead and just bring my own.’ So I guess a lot of the customers already have their own bags and they already bring them so I would say it will not be as impactful.”

Although nothing seems imminent in the Lucas, Fairview and Allen areas, a plastic bag ban in Dallas could be the first step in a move north.

“It probably will, just think about smoking bans and things like that, all of that seem to kind of spread out some,” Dillow said. “And realistically I think some areas will like it. I don’t know that it’ll make any difference up in our area because so many people up here are focused on recycling and carrying your own bags to places. Here it probably won’t make that big a difference. In other places where it raises the prices and money is a little bit harder thing for people, that may cause some issues.”