Portland Bans the Plastic Bag

Photo Credit: Treehugger

In an effort to reduce plastic waste in landfills, Portland jumped on the bandwagon and banned single-use plastic bags from major grocers and retailers. This law will take effect on October 15, 2011.

Although this law is a great first step, there is still a long ways to go. It only bans the bags from grocers, and retailers that make $2 million or more in gross annual sales and/or stores with pharmacies and at least 10,000 square feet of space. Plastic bags used for produce, meat, and bulk items will still be allowed in grocery stores, pharmacists dispensing medication may use a plastic bag to protect a patient’s privacy, and small retailers will also be able to use them.

Unlike a statewide measure that previously failed, Portland’s law won’t impose a mandatory fee on paper bags.

“Without the fee, there is a risk people simply substitute paper for plastic, and the environmental benefits of that are negligible,” said Oregon State Rep. Ben Cannon said in response to the law.

Do you think that Portlanders will simply switch to paper bags?

You can read more here.

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