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Paper, Plastic or What?

Pete Springer/OPB

San Francisco’s done it. So has China. Now Oregon Senators Mark Hass and Jason Atkinson want Oregon to become the first US state to restrict the use of plastic bags.

Their bill is up for a hearing next week during the legislature’s short session. It would forbid Oregon stores of all types from offering plastic bags at checkout. The proposal brings up a range of environmental and economic issues. Anti-plastic activists say bag bans are appropriate because plastic bags are made from a non-renewable resource, end up in landfills and harm wildlife.

Opponents of plastic bag bans, like say environmental opposition to the plastic bag is misplaced — and that without plastic bags, people are more likeley to use paper bags, which take energy to produce and create more greenhouse gases.

How would you or your business be affected by a statewide plastic bag ban? What kind of bags do you choose now? Why?


Mark Haas: State senator, sponsor of Sentate Bill 1009 to ban many plastic bags in Oregon

Stephen Joseph: Lead council for and co-founder of

economy environment paper plastic special session hosts

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