*Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to say the total bag charge for each state (when bag charges apply) depends on state and local mandates.
(WJW) — As more and more states and localities enact legislation banning certain types of bags in retail stores, it can get confusing where and how much customers might be charged for them.
According to its website, Walmart does have a single-use bag policy for some states depending on any legislation passed there.
In New Jersey, for example, paper bags and single-use plastic bags are banned, according to Walmart’s website. The ban there went into effect in May 2022. There, Walmart has provided free reusable bags while stores and customers adjusted to the new guidelines.
Customers are asked to bring reusable bags or buy them at checkout. In delivery situations, customers can opt out of reusable bags before completing their purchase, according to Walmart’s website.
Third-party delivery services, according to Walmart, are developing their own guidelines.
Similarly, in Maine, Vermont, New York, Colorado and Connecticut, single-use bags aren’t available in stores or for pick-up. In delivery situations, stores will fulfill orders in either paper bags or reusable bags. Customers will be charged for reusable bags, according to Walmart.
A Walmart spokesperson said in an email to Fox 8 that this month it announced it will expand its efforts to eliminate single-use and plastic bags in Delaware, Oregon and Washington stores.
In all states, according to Walmart, bags will be used as needed for “raw meats/proteins, produce and chemicals” for food safety purposes.
When it comes to Target stores, drive-up and order pick-up orders can include a bag fee based on local and state mandates, according to the company’s website.
“This aligns with fees that were already in place for purchases made in Target stores at checkout. If you are purchasing from a store that charges bag fees, they will be applied to your order,” the website states.
Additionally, when a customer places an order, the store automatically pre-authorizes ten bags. When the order is packed up, the actual number of bags used will be adjusted, and customers will be charged based on that number, according to Target.
Customers can decline the bags when picking up their order and can be refunded.
It’s an effort that started in 2020 but was put on hold during the pandemic. Giant Eagle said during that time frame it was able to prevent up to 20 million single-use plastic bags from littering communities.
Cuyahoga County’s ban on plastic bags went into effect in January 2022 but was not enforced until the end of 2022.
In the rest of the country, Giant Eagle got rid of single-use plastic bags on October 20, 2022.
The grocery store chain now encourages shoppers to bring or buy reusable bags instead.
Giant Eagle stores now charge a five-cent fee per paper bag. Paper bags are biodegradable and
recyclable, but also have a high environmental cost in terms of water and energy used in their
Shoppers who pay with forms of government assistance don’t have to pay the five cents.