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Austin Shoppers Still Confused Over Impending Bag Ban
Austin's bag ban officially goes into effect less than two weeks from now -- March 1 -- but shoppers at grocery and retail stores are still confused as to what the ban means for them.
The City of Austin is spending thousands on an advertising and educational campaign hoping to catch shoppers up to speed in a last minute educational blitz.
Changes are coming at checkout. In less than two weeks, customers will no longer be given the option of free bagging.
The City of Austin is spending $850,000 on education over the next few weeks to make sure everyone is aware of the change.
Likewise, individual stores, like H-E-B, are also pushing their own educational campaign.
"We have banners and signs up and we're giving away free bags, so we're going to work hard to make sure each and every customer knows the City of Austin bag ban is coming," said H-E-B spokeswoman Leslie Sweets.
But with two weeks to go, the message is, at times, falling on deaf ears.
"Do you have any idea when the bag ban starts?" we asked H-E-B shopper Adam DeBerry. "No, I have no idea what the bag ban is."
While our cameras rolled at an H-E-B express counter, only one, out of eight people, brought their own reusable bag.
And even those who were aware of the impending change admit it's still going to be an adjustment.
"I already have them," John David said about owning reusable bags but forgetting to bring them to the store. "But I was out, and this was a quick trip, and I didn't think about getting it all ready yet."
But with $850,000 to be spent in a last minute campaign, educational spots will run on radio, TV and print, with the city banking on everyone being all ready for the change come March 1.
H-E-B will also be handing out free bags this Saturday. The store will also do Free Bag Friday's starting March 1.
By Karen Kiley