Bisbee Passes Regulation of Carryout Bags

Bisbee Passes Regulation of Carryout Bags

Bisbee, Arizona, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013 (PBBR) - At the regular session of the Mayor and Council, by a 4-3 vote, Council approved the notice of intent to adopt ordinance 0-13-14, amending the City Code by adopting Article 9.7, Regulation of Carryout Bags.

The City has discussed a possible ban on plastic bags for several years. In June of this year, the Bisbee Chamber of Commerce did a survey on single-use plastic bags.

Before the vote, city attorney John MacKinnon outlined some of the details of the ordinance. The ordinance will:

  • Ban plastic carryout bags at all retailers
  • Place a nickel charge for recyclable paper carryout bags
  • Take effect on Earth Day, 2014

Initially, the ordinance would have affected only stores with over $1 million in sales. This would have meant only two retailers would have been affected in the town of about 6,100 residents. However, as the city attorney stated, the ordinance has been revised to pertain to all retailers.

Mr. MacKinnon stated that the nickel charge is a 'minimum' fee. Retailers will be able to charge more if desired to cover the cost of the bags.

According to Debbie Roth of the Arizona Food Marketing Alliance, plastic bags cost the retailers about five cents and paper bags cost about 8.5 cents each. "We recommend a ban on plastic bags and a charge for paper bags", stated Ms. Roth.

Bisbee, Arizona is located approximately 80 miles south of the city of Tucson, Arizona. Situated in Arizona's Mule Mountains, Bisbee is only about 20 miles from the border of Mexico.

Cover photo: Bisbee, Arizona Main Street. Author: Willjay. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.

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