As promised, Portland Mayor Sam Adams is bringing forward a resolution to prohibit large grocery stores from distributing single-use plastic check-out bags.
The emergency ordinance, which could be voted on next Thursday, comes on the heels of the legislature's failure to pass a ban. Portland had held off taking action, giving the legislature a chance to craft a solution.
If the ban passes, Portland would join several other places with plastic bag bans, from San Francisco to Delhi, Mexico City to Rwanda, Coastal North Carolina to Bellingham, Maui to South Africa.
It's significant news - the Washington Post online has published an AP squib. Yet it also is simply reinforcing a businesses decision many stores have already made; Fred Meyer has already removed plastic check-out bags from ten stores.
And what of the opposition? Plastic bag manufacturer Hilex Poly makes the poll-tested yet specious case that they're pushing recycling. If they're pushing recycling, they're doing a heckuva job. In fact, less than 5% of plastic bags are recycled each year.
Furthermore, the contamination from plastic bags harms recycling, costing paper recyclers serious money - in the video above, Mayor Adams notes Far West Fibers spends $30,000 to $40,000 a month just to remove plastic bags from their recycling machinery.
Come October 15th, Portlanders should expect plastic check-out bags to be a thing of the past. And reusable bags should be continuing their resurgence as simply part of the shopping routine.