Anchorage’s plastic bag ban went into effect on Sept. 15 and shoppers, restaurants and retailers are adjusting to the new rules.

The plastic bag ban is in effect for retailers like Walmart, and some shoppers have welcomed the new policy.

"Plastic bags, they needed to go a long time ago," said Kodiak's Joe Alanzo who was in Anchorage for a visit. "Some people just throw them around; they throw them all over the place."

The change can be seen in Downtown Anchorage as well. Wally Gust who was shopping in the area said he wishes he would have known more about the policy before he arrived from New Stuyahok.

"I've already had to buy a couple of bags from one of these shops here. I didn't know that you could bring any type of empty container to hold your stuff in," he said.

Some exceptions have been made with the paper bag fee.

The general manager of the Southeast Anchorage Fred Meyer on Abbott Road says shoppers who use WIC or EBT cards will not have to pay the bag fee at any Fred Meyer location in Anchorage.

Changes to the ordinance could be coming.

Restaurants — such as the McDonald’s on West Northern Lights Blvd. — can charge 10 cents for a paper bag under the new policy. That may change if Assemblyman Chris Constant gets his way.

"It's not really within the model to take in a bag to the restaurant and put your food to go in there, and then take it," Constant said. "That 10 cent charge is a little bit weird."

Money collected from the bag fee covers the cost of supplying paper bags and does not go to the municipality.

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