Portland City Council approves expansion of plastic bag ban


The Portland City Council Thursday unanimously approved expanding the ban on single-use plastic bags to all retail and food establishments. Portland Mayor Sam Adams announced the outcome via Twitter, along with a photograph of Adams posing with several members of the ‘Plastic Bag Monster,’ environmental advocates who attended the hearing draped from head-to-toe in dozens of plastic bags. The decision expands the ordinance, which applied only to grocery stores, to all retail and food establishments, such as food carts, convenience stores and restaurants. The new requirements will take effect beginning March 1, 2013, for stores larger than 10,000-square-feet, and Oct. 1, 2013, for all others. All must provide either recycled paper or reusable bags. Violators could see fines ranging from $100 to $500.On July 21, 2011, the city council unanimously approved the initial ordinance, which took effect in October of that year. Since that time, both Corvallis and Eugene have followed suit. Adams has cited the ban as an integral part of Portland’s Climate Action Plan, adopted in 2009, which seeks to reduce the total amount of waste generated in the city by 25 percent.

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