Why owner of an 80-year-old chain of Dayton-area stores is eliminating plastic bags

It will still be the “place with the helpful hardware folks,” but it won’t be the place for plastic bags much longer.

The owner of nine Dayton-area Handyman Ace Hardware store locations says his stores are phasing out plastic bags in favor of paper ones.

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"I've been thinking about it for awhile," David Grimes said. "It is just one of the right things to do. We are trying to do our part."

In its 80th year, Handyman Ace Hardware was started by Grimes' grandfather Earl Grimes with the purchase of Massey Hardware store in Osborn (now Fairborn).

David Grimes' father, the late Edwin E. Grimes, purchased the company from his dad in 1972 with his partner Don Aldrich.

They began the push to make it a chain.

>>RELATED: Read Edwin E. Grimes obituary 

Handyman Ace Hardware, a member of the ACE dealer owned co-operative, now has locations in Dayton, Springfield, Centerville, Fairborn, Xenia, Miamisburg, New Carlisle and Kettering.

Even though some of his stores offer plastic bag recycling, David Grimes said the bags do not break down in landfills.

Customers will receive paper bags once all the plastic ones are given out.

Grimes said the move is not a financial one.


“It will probably cost me a little more to do paper bags than plastic bags,” he said.

Waste Management estimates that it takes a plastic bag 1,000 years to biodegrade in a landfill.

Paper bags break down in a month as part of litter, the waste collection company says.

Americans throw away 100 billion plastic bags annually, according to statistics compiled by the Earth Day Network.

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Handyman Ace join numerous other stores to phase out plastic bags voluntarily.

>> Your local Kroger is doing away with plastic bags

Kroger announced in August that it is phasing out its plastic bags and replacing them with reusable bags across all stores.

The major grocery retailer plans to do so by 2025.

In addition, several communities nationwide have initiated bans of plastic bags intended for single use, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The bags are typically made of petroleum-based plastic and don’t biodegrade when they are disposed of or escape into the environment.

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