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Store managers say plastic bags are popular with customers, City Council has not discussed them

Though several cities in Oregon have prohibited single-use plastic bags or will in the future, there are no plans to do so in Estacada.

Several years ago, the city of Portland prohibited the bags at grocery stores to ensure that fewer items ended up in landfills. During a recent meeting, leaders from Fairview, Wood Village and Troutdale said that a ban on the bags should move forward, though formal action has not yet been taken.

And recently, Milwaukie became the first city in Clackamas County to ban plastic grocery bags.

Although a plastic bag ban has not yet been a significant topic of discussion in Estacada, one retailer is offering single-use bags made from recyclable materials.

Plastic bags are not mentioned in the Estacada City Council's goals for this year, and City Manager Denise Carey said the topic has not been brought up during meetings.

"If it's a topic that becomes the norm, we'll probably take a look at it, but it hasn't been brought up by the city, council or stores," Carey said.

Hi-School Pharmacy manager Ben Brist said the majority of the location's customers use plastic bags.

"Paper bags are pretty rare," he added, noting that although reusable options are available for purchase, not as many customers are drawn to them.

Earlier this year, True Value switched to plastic bags that are made from recyclable materials. Manager Steve Davis said they are the most popular category of bags.

"Most people want plastic bags. There aren't a lot of reusable bags," he said.

Neither Hi-School Pharmacy nor True Value have plans to stop offering plastic bags. If a ban were to occur, employees said it could affect the store in several ways.

Davis said such a change could have a positive financial impact at True Value.

"We use a lot of bags, and everything counts. Every dollar you can save, you have to," he said.

Brist is concerned a ban would go over poorly with customers.

"I think there would be a decent amount of pushback if there were a ban," Brist said. "We're not downtown Portland."

Davis noted that "bags are so handy," but added that people would likely adjust if there were limitations put in place.

"A lot of people might just carry (on) without bags," he said.

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