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Paper or Plastic may be an Option no More


It may be the beginning of the end of the disposable age as Boulder City Council is poised to decide whether to, and how to, ban or restrict plastic bags. This is an issue that has been on the mind of the community as a whole for sometime; any shopper who frequents some of the more “earth-friendly” retailers such as Vitamin Cottage or Whole Foods knows that it’s common form and practice that when you’re buying more than a snack you bring your own bags.

The proposal has gone through a few different phases since it overtook a series of meetings in the spring of 2012, initially being proposed as an outright ban on the one-time use of plastic bags at all grocery vendors—including stores like Target. Staffers have looked at those who have taken the plunge before as models of how to go about reigning in the incredible “781 tons of ‘plastic retail bags’” supposed in the waste system (that’s 120 million plastic bags being tossed away in Boulder County). Mind you this ban or additional fee would not be applied to you veggie bags and the like nor will it be hitting the restaurant market—for now.

The ideas that have been batted around include, of course, the hardline, all-out ban on BOTH plastic and paper (which has its own environmental impact), banning the plastic and keeping the paper (with a fee), or allowing both to be available for a small fee. The current compromise being discussed at the moment is a possible 20 cent fee per bag for both paper and plastic bags in all food stores.

In a series of readings throughout October, both with and without public input, the ordinance has been thoroughly discussed. The fourth and last hearing scheduled at the moment is set to take place on Thursday, Nov. 15, at 6pm in the council chambers. This hearing will not have a specific public hearing devoted to the topic of bags but the public is allowed to toss its two-cents on any topic in the beginning of the hearing.

If a ban or extra fee were to be put in place we the people could expect to see change in July 2013.

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