Woman in wheelchair says bag ban robs her of independence

EUGENE, Ore. - Going to the store after work to grab a few items for dinner hasn't changed much for most people in Eugene in the two weeks since the ban on single-use paper bags took effect.

Lisa Dayton told KVAL News that the ban has affect her quality of life. Dayton, who uses a wheelchair, chose paper bags when shopping before the ban took effect.

"I would just tell the person checking out I needed paper because it was sturdier and I could just fit this right on my lap and wheel myself and it would stay right there," she said.

Under the new city ordinance, stores may still offer paper bags - but they must charge at least a 5 cent fee for those bags.

Shoppers are free to bring in their own cloth bags and reused paper or plastic bags.

Dayton said she's not going to pay for a bag that used to be free and was an accommodation for her disability. Dayton said it's taken away her independence.

"Now I have to ask for family members to help me if I'm going to shop locally and have to use a material bag because it won't stay on my lap," she said. "I can have the clerk carry it out for me but they're not going to come home and take it out of my van and carry it into the house."

Dayton works in Springfield and now shops there, too.

"It's confusing to me that City Council hasn't thought this through more thoroughly the impact it would have on the individuals in the community," she said.