Walmart's new plastic bags

Walmart has switched to a reusable plastic bag at its two Mount Pleasant stores after the town began enforcing a ban April 16 on single-use plastic bags. The store initially began using paper bags last week. Warren L. Wise/Staff

Walmart's switch to paper bags didn't last long in Mount Pleasant.

The retail giant is now offering "reusable," thicker plastic bags at its two East Cooper locations.

The move comes after the single-use plastic bag ban took effect April 16 — one week ago — in the state's fourth-largest municipality.

The front of the new Walmart plastic bag shows the image of a tree growing from a green, grassy ground with the words "Hand Washable. Recyclable. Sustainable. Reuse 125 times. Made in the USA" in bold letters across the bottom of the light gray bag.

A spokesman for the Arkansas-based company said the reusable bag is offered in other places across the U.S. with similar ordinances. 

"Some of our customers prefer a plastic reusable bag, some like paper, some do the 'cloth' reusable," said Phil Keene of Walmart. "By and large, we try to adjust the offering in the store to cover the needs and wants of all our customers, while of course being in compliance."

Walmart paper bags (copy)

Walmart initially began offering paper bags when Mount Pleasant's plastic bag ban took effect April 16. It has now switched to reusable plastic bags at its two East Cooper locations. File/Warren L. Wise/Staff

Mount Pleasant Police Department is responsible for enforcing the ordinance.

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Spokesman Chip Googe cited the town's ordinance that reflects the new Walmart bags meet the town's standards.

The regulation requires bags show language printed on the outside about being reusable and recyclable, have a handle, are made of washable material, meet minimum thickness and can be used at least 125 times carrying a minimum of 22 pounds over a distance of at least 175 feet.

South Carolina lawmakers have been grappling with a proposed "ban on bans" law to stem a patchwork of plastic bag bans across the state, but the measure has not passed this legislative session.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 843-937-5524. Follow him on Twitter @warrenlancewise.