BEND, OR -- Bend shoppers may soon need to bring their own reusable bags to the grocery store. A Bend City Council subcommittee is working on an ordinance aimed at reducing single-use bags.
Councilor Bruce Abernethy sits on the subcommittee, which met again Thursday to discuss the latest draft. He doesn't call it a ban. "'Ban' is too strong a word. Obviously, the 'plastic bag ban,' it rolls off the tongue nicely, but that's farther than we actually are going, so it's not really realistic." He says it won't be anything quite so broad reaching, "When people hear 'plastic bag ban,' they really think, 'no more plastic bags.' And that's actually not what we're doing. We're not going to eliminate; we're not going to ban all plastic bags in Bend."
Bend Considers Plastic Bag Ban (10/02/2018)
Abernethy believes an all-out ban doesn't take the needs of several industries into consideration, "Our concern was that businesses that depended on some of these eligible uses, or exempt uses of bags, would feel that the council is going too far." So, like all rules, there will be exceptions, "If you are serving food or something like that, and it's plastic related, that's not a problem. Other exemptions include temporary - if you're a farmers market or something like that, or a holiday faire, or a special event; or anything that's related to health that's plastic, this doesn't apply." It would apply to carry-out bags, "It's trying to reduce those plastic bags that have the handles that when you go to the grocery store, that's the plastic that we're trying to reduce," he says.
Abernethy and fellow councilors Barb Campbell and Sally Russell have a few more changes to make before they present the proposed ordinance to the full council for a first reading, hopefully by the first part of December.