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Plastic Grocery Bags to Be Phased Out in Bend

BEND, OR -- An ordinance designed to reduce the number of disposable carry-out bags in Bend received tentative approval from the city Council, Wednesday night. City Attorney Mary Winters says it’s not a radical idea, "Let’s recognize that all bags, whether plastic or paper, have an environmental impact and there’s no perfect solution. But, here in Bend, we didn’t create the ordinance. We looked at other jurisdictions."


Bend Closer to Plastic Bag Ordinance (11/02/2018)

The ordinance would force shoppers to use reusable bags, or pay a small fee for disposable bags used at check-out. Mayor-Elect Sally Russell says the Bend plan is very similar to ordinances already in place in a number of other Oregon cities, "Transition and change is always a little challenging, but I think what I like particularly about this is that there are cost savings – it’s in our recycling stream or landfill clean-up. Also, hopefully long-term there will a cost savings, since people are reusing bags again and again. We’re not leading the way; we’re following. And, even the Grocer’s Association has a template we’re following." The Northwest Grocer's Association support the plan, but only with the pass-through fee charged to shoppers. 

The ordinance passed 4-to-2, with Councilors Justin Livingston and Bill Moseley voting no. The second reading and final vote is scheduled for December 19. If it receives final approval, the ordinance would go into effect July first. 

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