Updated 03/01/2013 04:18 PM
So long, plastic bags
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After 19 years at the end of a checkout counter, HEB employee Fred Cortinez was ready to take on the bag ban Friday.
While most of the customers were, too, a few did forget their bags. Shopper Betty Hafer, who remembered to bring hers, said the bags definitely have their benefits.
“They’re easy, they’re easy to clean,” she said. “I just put them in the sink with some soap water and hang them.”
The ban does not affect single-use bags for fast food, takeout or produce and meat. If you do forget your reusable bags at home, HEB has an emergency plan that allows customers to pay $1 to have their groceries bagged the old school way.
"Once you get into the habit of doing it, it'll be easier,” Jessica King of Austin Resource Recovery said. “You have to remember bags weren't offered way back in the day. So how'd people get things home? Boxes or other ways."
While the environment is the city's top priority, some customers worry about E. coli spreading. But shopper Nik Amyx said you just have to keep your bags clean.
"When they get old, you just throw them away and buy new ones," Amyx said.
Many retailers are handing out reusable bags at promotional events until people get used to the ban. But the employees are always there to help you out, too.
"I've lived so long and God put me here to do something, and that's what I like to do," Cortinez said.
And even if some changes come his way, Cortinez said he'll continue to bag your food with a smile.