The Portland City Council has passed a ban on single-use plastic grocery bags.
The state legislature considered a similar move during its session this year, but the bill died in committee.
Oregon Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum testified to the city council in favor of the ban. She acknowledged legislators had asked Portland to wait when this idea first came up, to see if a state law could be created. Absent that, Rosenbaum encouraged Portland to press on.
“I would suggest today that the best way to get single-use plastic bags out of Oregon is for Portland to take the lead and pass this ordinance today. In doing so, I think we will create the very necessary first step to a statewide law,” Rosenbaum said.
Council heard testimony from grocers and one recycler who support the ban - with some reservations. Jeff Murray of Far West Fibers says consumers frequently toss the plastic bags into recycling bins, unaware that they can’t be collected at curbside.
He expressed reservations about the exception made for compostable plastic bags, but says he trusts the city will include recyclers and other stakeholders in further shaping the city’s policy.
City of Portland press release