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Plastic Recycling August 16, 2018 02:30:55 PM

Plastic Bag Ban Ordinance Receives Final Approval of City Council

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
As the next step, the Council now plans to extend the ban into other plastic materials causing pollution, including disposable straws and industrial pallet wrap.
Plastic Bag Ban Ordinance Receives Final Approval of City Council

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): The Unalaska City Council has finally approved the bill banning use of plastic bag by retailers, after about six months of discussions. According, starting Jan 1, 2019, city retailers will be prohibited from distributing single-use plastic bags to their customers. The violators of the law will be fined $100 for each instance of violation. By passing the law, Unalaska now joins more than a dozen of Alaska communities who have already implemented similar ban on use of plastic bags.

The councilors will now decide on what is to be done with the inventories of plastic bags with retailers once the ban goes into effect. Now with only for months to the ban, the retailers might be left with a good number of plastic bags with them. Vice Mayor Dennis Robinson suggested that the city should do the needful to ensure that the leftover stock of bags is bought by it. This would provide a lending hand to business managers. In addition, it also guarantees that these bags safely end up in landfill. The cost involved in the process will be evaluated by the city manager, before a final decision is arrived at. It must be noted that the ordinance had received overwhelming public support.

ALSO READ: Salem, OR Considering Plastic Bag Ban

The ban applies to all plastic shopping bags having thickness of less than 4 mm, including those labeled as compostable or biodegradable. However, it is not be applicable to plastic bags used for fresh produce, fruits and vegetables. Garbage, pharmacy, sandwich and bread bags are also exempted from the ban. Also, the ban will not cover bags used for small hardware items such as washers and bolts.

Meantime, Councilor Shari Coleman demanded delaying the ban to let the inventory run out, but that proposal did not receive enough support from other members.

As the next step, the Council now plans to extend the ban into other plastic materials causing pollution, including disposable straws and industrial pallet wrap.

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