Santa Fe Nixes Fee On Paper Bags

Santa Fe Nixes Fee On Paper Bags

Santa Fe, NM, February 27, 2014 (PBBR) - Santa Fe's plastic bag ban ordinance, which became effective today, was revised at last night's City Council meeting. The ordinance, known as the Single-Use Bag Ordinance, was passed in August of last year.

Smith Food & Drug post reusable bag reminders in parking lot. Credit: Ted Duboise
Smith Food & Drug, Santa Fe, posts reusable bag reminders in parking lot. Credit: Ted Duboise

Council decided to delay enforcement of the ban for 30 days from the effective date (Feb. 27, 2014) to allow for an implementation period.

Council also decided to eliminate the requirement of charging a ten cents fee for paper bags. This decision will force retailers to bear the full cost of paper bags that are provided to their customers. History has shown that if plastic bags are banned and there is no fee for paper bags, paper bag usage will increase tremendously.

At last night's meeting, Councilor Ronald Trujillo simply said, "I told you so!" Councilor Trujillo has been, and remains, a strong opponent to the plastic bag ban. In referring to dropping the paper bag fee, Trujillo stated, "I'm glad we caught it now." He was referring to the fact that the interim city attorney is not sure if charging a fee is lawful and feared that lawsuits might arise from the ordinance.

In the public hearing section of the meeting, a spokesman from Albertson's supermarkets stated that he feared customers will simply revert back to the paper bag. Councilor Bushee responded that the supermarket could simply voluntarily charge the ten cents fee if desired.

When the vote was taken, the revisions to the Single-Use Bag Ordinance was passed by a margin of 7-1. Councilor Trujillo cast the dissenting vote.

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Cover photo: Shops in Old Santa Fe, NM.  Image and Design Copyright © 2014 Ted Duboise. All Rights Reserved.

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