A bill to ban single use plastic bags statewide has been introduced in the Oregon Legislature. The Oregon Legislative Assembly is currently in a month-long Special Called Session.
Senate Bill 1009 would prohibit the use of plastic bags as checkout bags. The Bill was introduced by Senator Mark Haas and Senator Jason Atkinson. Oregon already has a statute requiring retail establishments that offer plastic bags to customers to also offer paper bags. SB1009 would repeal that statute, or at least parts of it.
A hearing on the Bill was held Tuesday, February 2nd, before the state environmental committee and another hearing will be held next week. At the hearing, the Committee heard testimony from environmental groups and retail grocers.
The Bill also declares that an emergency exist and the Act is necessary for the immediate preservation of public peace, health and safety, and, if passed, the 2010 Act would take effect immediately.
News organizations across the state immediately posted reports about the plastic bag ban proposal:
-- KOHD News
-- KEZI News
Citizens interviewed by the news organizations had opinions on both sides of the issue.
No state in the U.S. has banned plastic bags statewide. Legislation has been introduced at state-level in many states, but no state has passed a plastic bag ban into law. However, many cities have passed bans on single use plastic bags as evidenced by this website.
In every plastic bag ban proposal, there is a concern for the retailers, as there should be. However, many retailers have already opted out of plastic bags. They do not use them. In fact, some retailers in Oregon do not give out plastic bags: Whole Foods, Dari Mart, Market of Choice, and Trader Joe's, to name a few.
Read the full text of SB1009 banning plastic bags in the State of Oregon.