Sustainability | Ecotrope

Oregon's plastic bags live to see another day

Ecotrope | June 13, 2011 3:44 a.m. | Updated: Feb. 19, 2013 1:37 p.m.

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Why is it cities have been able to pass bans and surcharges on plastic bags but states haven't?

Why is it cities have been able to pass bans and surcharges on plastic bags but states haven't?

So, a statewide plastic bag ban isn’t going to happen in Oregon this year. That frees up Portland and other cities to pass their own citywide bag bans. California tried and failed to pass a bag ban, too. For some reason, it seems cities are able to take on plastic bag issues while states get stymied.

Meanwhile, the New York Times reports the plastic bag industry is suing eco-friendly rival ChicoBag for making false statements about the damage plastic bags do in the environment.

Part of the disagreement between the plastic bag industry and ChicoBag is the percentage of plastic bags that get recycled. Is it 1 percent or 11.8 percent?

Either way, it’s nowhere near the 80 percent Oregon lawmakers were targeting in their negotiations with the industry over the plastic bag ban bill. To get the bill through the Legislature, supporters floated an amendment that would have postponed an actual ban to give the industry a chance to reach an 80 percent recycling rate. The plastics industry said that figure was absurdly high and unattainable.

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