Paper or Plastic: a costly decision - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Paper or Plastic: a costly decision

by Bryan Goettel

IOWA CITY (KWWL) - For New Pioneer shoppers, pretty soon that decision is going to cost you.

"I think it's a great idea," said shopper James Petersen.

Starting on April 22nd, not coincidentally Earth Day, whether you answer paper or plastic, it will mean an extra nickel per bag. It's a move inspired by Whole Foods Market. The national grocery chain banned plastic bags last year.

"The decision was not based at all on an effort for New Pioneer to save money," said New Pioneer marketing manager Jenifer Angerer. "It was mostly to reduce the number of bags that are out there in circulation."

"It'll definitely keep me to remember to bring my own bags," said shopper Marielle Schmitt.

"They're choking the environment in so many ways, causing all kinds of trouble," said Petersen. "I think it's a great idea to phase those out and charging for them is probably a good way to do that."

Every penny of the new bag fee will be donated to the Iowa City Crisis Center. Even though many customers already use reusable bags, Angerer knows some backlash is inevitable.

"We're never gonna make everyone happy and we really debated long and hard about this," said Angerer.

The Iowa City council tabled a plan for a city-wide plastic bag ban. But New Pioneer shoppers hope their bag fees catch on.

"I hope other stores look toward it and try and follow their lead," said shopper Francesca Crutchfield-Stoker.

"I think in five years that this is going to be the norm," said Angerer.

Turning the question of paper or plastic into cloth or hemp.

Online Reporter: Bryan Goettel

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