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Information for Shoppers


As consumers, you have the power to influence the decisions retailers make through your everyday choices. By bringing reusable bags with you when you shop, you let retailers know that you support the elimination of single-use plastic checkout bags and the waste that contaminates our streams, lakes and land. You are contributing to healthier, thriving communities in Cuyahoga County by bringing your own reusable bags.

Here are some ways you can break the plastic checkout bag habit:

  • #BYOBags. When you shop, take your own bags to the grocery, retail or convenience store. Canvas, vinyl or cloth are great options. Find a design or color that matches your personality and purchasing habits.
  • Reuse single-use plastic checkout bags that you already have. If you have a stockpile of bags on hand, it’s better to reuse them as much as you can before throwing them away.
  • Pick up poop. Bread bags, frozen food bags and used food storage bags are a strong option for picking up after your pooch on your next walk around the neighborhood.
  • Forget the poop bags altogether. Use an unlined handled scooper or shovel to collect the doo then deposit the pile into a backyard dog waste composter.
  • Use reusable produce bags. Purchase mesh bags or make your own reusable cloth bags for fresh fruits and vegetables. Ask the clerk at the checkout to remove items sold by weight from reusable mesh bags so you are not charged for the weight of the bag. Be sure to wash them often.
  • Do you really need that bag? If you're only purchasing one or two items, or taking restaurant leftovers to go, carry the items out of the store or eatery without a plastic bag.
  • Use other bags you may have around the house--such as pet food, birdseed and dry-cleaning bags as kitchen trash can liners. You may be surprised at the options you already have in your household.
  • Consider not lining smaller trash cans in laundry rooms and bedrooms at all. If you prefer a liner, try using a paper bag instead. Some manufacturers make bathroom trash bins with removable permanent liners that can be removed and cleaned.


Questions? Contact Us

Department of Sustainability







Shopper Questions

I tend to forget to bring reusable bags. How can I remember?
I don’t think it is in my budget to purchase reusable bags. Is there any assistance to make them more accessible?
Is this the end of free plastic checkout bags?
How do I get out of this single-use plastic bag habit?
What else can I do to reduce the use of plastics in my home and community?