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Oregon Considers a Ban on Plastic Bags Again

Portland Mayor Sam Adams has proposed a ban on plastic bags at grocery stores and retail pharmacies in the city, hoping that the law will pass this time around, reports Examiner.com.

Adams’ proposal follows an announcement by Oregon’s state lawmakers who have proposed similar legislation, banning disposable plastic bags at all retailers throughout the state starting in 2012, reports OregonLive. The proposal calls for a five cent charge for every paper bag.

The legislation, introduced during February’s special session and led by state Sen. Mark Hass, D-Beaverton, and Sen. Jason Atkinson, R-Central Point, may not clear the 2011 Oregon session, according to the article.

Adams’ proposal calls for a ban on the use of one-time plastic bags in large grocery stores and retail pharmacies, and a similar five-cent tax per paper bag at checkout to help defray the store’s cost. These stores also will be required to sell reusable bags or provide them at no cost to consumers at checkout.

The mayor’s office says two-thirds of Portlanders surveyed in a recent poll support banning single-use, carry-out plastic bags and a 5-cent charge on paper bags, reports ThePortlander.

The proposal also includes a plan for an outreach campaign to provide reusable carryout bags to interested Portland residents, and to work with service providers to distribute information and reusable carryout bags to interested senior and low-income households.

Adams expects the new plastic bag ban bill will cut down on the recycling of one-time use plastic bags, and encourage shoppers to use reusable bags, which can be purchased at almost all stores statewide for a small fee, reports the Examiner.

The American Chemistry Council, which represents 80 percent of the country’s plastic bag production, say plastic bags can be kept out of the waste stream if consumers return them to stores for recycling, reports ThePortlander.

A good sign for Oregon’s legislators is that California’s state Assembly approved Assembly Bill 1998 in June that would make California the first state in the nation to ban single-use plastic and paper bags from being handed out at grocery stores, starting in 2012. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.

California, Rhode Island, New York and Delaware and cities like Chicago and Tucson have recently passed laws requiring stores to take back plastic bags and film for recycling.

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3 thoughts on “Oregon Considers a Ban on Plastic Bags Again

  1. You know that some time last year I think it was, the provision of free plastic bags in supermarkets was outlawed in Shanghai. The municipal just decided to change the rules. Now you have to buy your plastic bags but most shoppers now bring shopping bags, Chinese and expats alike.
    As I recall, numerous plastic bag companies went out of business but such is the price of saving the planet.
    Shanghai has a population that exceeds 20 million. about the same a New York state I believe. Why then is a Mayor “proposing” a ban, news?

  2. The Mayors Poll was a joke of a push poll. The only question asked of citizens was the very slanted question:

    “”Single-use petroleum-based plastic shopping bags pollute our land, contribute to a swirling mass of garbage twice the size of Texas off Oregon’s coast, and continue our dependence on dangerous foreign oil supplies. Making paper shopping bags is a toxic process that pollutes our rivers. To encourage more use of reusable shopping bags, do you favor or oppose banning plastic bags in the City of Portland and requiring a 5-cent fee on paper bags?”

    With all of the propagand of toxins and death you only could get 61% opposed. I doubt a reasonable poll would get more than 30%

  3. So what is a reasonable question? You did not offer one. Why is it that the reduction in the use of resources is so widely criticized in the U.S.? Is it just about money or is there another reason? I really want to know the other reason for not conserving resources that does not have to do with money.
    The fact is that resources are not infinite. Banning plastic bags is a good way to observe and practice the transition from a society of waste to a society of sustainability. We can not expect to do this overnight or in a couple years. So, passing such laws are a good way to discover what we are doing wrong and what we are doing right.

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