Homer, AK Bans Disposable Plastic Shopping Bags

Homer, AK Bans Disposable Plastic Shopping Bags

Homer, Alaska, Aug. 27, 2012, (PBBR) - The City Council of Homer, Alaska, passed an ordinance today that prohibits sellers from providing disposable plastic shopping bags to their customers. The ordinance (12-36) was sponsored by Councilmembers David Lewis and Beauregard Burgess.

In an interview by phone, Mr. Lewis stated, “The ordinance only prohibits light-weight plastic bags and is based on size-limits established in the Seattle, Washington ordinance“. Only bags under 2.25 mil thick are banned by the ordinance.

Details of Ordinance 12-36
AN ORDINANCE OF THE HOMER CITY COUNCIL, ENACTING HOMER CITY CODE CHAPTER 5.42 PROHIBITING SELLERS FROM PROVIDING CUSTOMERS WITH DISPOSABLE PLASTIC SHOPPING BAGS.

WHEREAS, The use of disposable plastic shopping bags in Homer creates burdens on the local solid waste disposal system and degrades the environment; and

WHEREAS, To decrease the use of disposable plastic shopping bags in the City, it is necessary to restrict such use; and

WHEREAS, It is in the best interest of the health, safety and welfare of City residents to restrict the use of disposable plastic shopping bags in the City.

NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY OF HOMER ORDAINS:

Section 1. Homer City Code Chapter 5.42 Disposable Plastic Shopping Bags, is hereby enacted to read as follows:

Chapter 5.42
DISPOSABLE PLASTIC SHOPPING BAGS

5.42.010 Purpose.
5.42.020 Definitions.
5.42.030 Prohibition on use of disposable plastic shopping bags.
5.42.040 Exceptions.
5.42.050 Penalty.

5.42.010 Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to reduce the generation of waste from disposable plastic shopping bags.

5.42.020 Definitions. In this chapter:
a. “Buyer” means a person who is a buyer under Kenai Peninsula Borough Code 5.18.900.
b. "Disposable plastic shopping bag" means a bag made from plastic or any material marketed or labeled as "biodegradable" or "compostable" that is neither intended nor suitable for continuous reuse and that is less than 2.25 mils thick, designed to carry customer purchases from the seller’s premises, except for: bags used by customers inside stores to package bulk items such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, candy, or small hardware items, such as nails and bolts; bags used to contain dampness or leaks from items such as frozen foods, meat or fish, flowers or potted plants; bags used to protect prepared foods or bakery goods; bags provided by pharmacists to contain prescription drugs; newspaper bags, laundry or dry cleaning bags; or bags sold for consumer use off the seller’s premises for such purposes as the collection and disposal of garbage, pet waste, or yard waste.
c. “Seller” means a person who is a seller under Kenai Peninsula Borough Code 5.18.900.

5.42.030 Prohibition on use of disposable plastic shopping bags. No seller may provide to a buyer, any disposable plastic shopping bag for the purpose of carrying a buyer’s purchased goods from the seller’s premises.

5.42.040 Exceptions. Inventories of plastic shopping bags purchased before the date of enactment of this ordinance may continue to be used by sellers and provided to customers after January 1, 2013 until all such inventories of plastic bags are completely used in the course of regular business operations. Sellers providing plastic bags under this exception after January 1, 2013 must be willing and able to provide documentation that such plastic bags were purchased on or before the date of enactment of this ordinance.

5.42.050 Penalty. The penalty for each violation of this chapter shall be a fine of $50.00.

Section 2. Section 1 of this Ordinance is of a permanent and general character and shall be included in the City Code.

Section 3. This Ordinance shall take effect on January 1, 2013.
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See related: Homer, Alaska Begins Process To Ban Plastic Bags
Cover photo: Cover photo: City Hall in Homer, Alaska. Author: Michaelh2001 at the wikipedia project.