Momentum is building for a law in Bloomington that would seek to limit the use of plastic shopping bags. This week the Bloomington Commission on Sustainability urged the Bloomington City Council to draw up and enact such an ordinance. Andrea Jobe, a City council appointee to the Sustainability Commission, reported to the commission about the “Bring Your Own Bag” initiative, the working title of the draft ordinance that could be brought to the City Council as soon as May.
“When fully implemented this ordinance apply to business that give away plastic bags” Jobe states. “This isn’t new” Jobe says, “Plastic bag ordinances have been effective in over 130 cities in the US…and at least 70 countries.”
Jobe said that the draft ordinance will call for a ban on stores giving non-reusable plastic bags to their customers. She said the bags cause problems beyond litter.
“They cause issues at the recycling centers and landfills and clog up the equipment” Jobe explains. “The idea is to bring a reusable bag and get the community in the habit of doing so”
It will include a charge for the supply of paper bags. There will be exemptions for plastic bags used for take-away fresh produce and meats, and for pharmaceuticals. Jobe then asked the Commission to send a letter of support for the initiative After some discussion, Jeff Jewell, Commission Chairperson, proposed and the members accepted such this request.