Portland, Oregon Becomes Latest City to Ban the Plastic Bag


Photo: Zainub, Flickr, CC BY-SA

Oregon's largest city has just joined a growing list of municipalities that are fed up with plastic bags -- It has just adopted an ordinance that will ban plastic bags from major grocery stores, as well as some big box retailers. Even better, the ban is slated to go into effect in a mere matter of months ...Oregon Live reports:

The Portland City Council unanimously approved an ordinance Thursday that prohibits plastic shopping bags at checkstands of major grocers and certain big-box stores. The new rules, designed to curb pollution, take effect Oct. 15. Fulfilling a pledge from last year, Mayor Sam Adams introduced the ban this month after the 2011 Legislature declined to enact Oregon-wide restrictions.
However, catches abound: The ban will only hit stores that do more than $2 million in gross annual sales (that's almost all large supermarkets), and those that are over 10,000 square feet.

And the ban "exempts plastic bags used for produce, meat and bulk food at grocery stores," OL reports. Paper bags will still be allowed, even though green groups fought to impose a fee on them in order to encourage the use of reusable bags.

Even with the caveats -- most bans have 'em -- this is great news. It's further evidence that we're making progress away from the anachronistic scourge of petroleum-based, non-biodegradable, eminently disposable plastic bags. Kudos, Portland.

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More on Plastic Bag Bans
LA County Passes Biggest Plastic Bag Ban in US
Italy's Nationwide Plastic Bag Ban Begins (Video)

Tags: Oregon | Waste

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