The city known for being "Famously Hot" is also looking to become more environmentally friendly.
Paper or plastic, aren't the only choices for customers checking out. Now some local companies are adding a third, more eco-friendly option.
"Paper is no better than plastic," said Rosewood Market Manager Basil Garzia. "So the real answer is bring your own."
"Far too many plastic bags end up as litter which decreases our quality of life," said Columbia Mayor Bob Coble.
City leaders teamed up with the group "Keep the Midlands Beautiful" and the "Climate Protection Action Campaign" to kick off the "Lose the Baggage" initiative.
Officials say reusable bags offer a simple solution to a very complex situation, relating to the environment. Basil Garzia says he's proud to be a part of the push to preserve the planet.
"It isn't only the landfill space and the cost that concerns me, it's a way of thinking about what is important to us as we go about our time here in Columbia--on this little blue marble in space," said Garzia.
Statistically each year, an estimated 500 billion to one trillion plastic bags are used worldwide, with less than one percent being recycled. The numbers don't quite add up for customers like Nancy Lee Trihey.
"I just really worry about the accumulation of all this plastic in the environment," said Trihey. "It damages wildlife and it uses petroleum and it just seems so unnecessary."
Supporters say what's also unnecessary is the money being wasted producing the plastic bags. So the campaign is underway to turn the "Lose the Baggage" motto into a money-saving mission.
Officials are hoping one by one, customers will begin sacking the paper or plastic option for the more eco-friendly alternative.