Portland to expand plastic bag ban - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland City Council votes to expand plastic bag ban

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The city of Portland is expanding its ban on plastic bags.

The City Council voted unanimously Thursday to include all retail and food businesses in the city as part of the ordinance.

Fifteen people were scheduled to speak at the meeting and only one presented opposition to the proposal. Several people even dressed up as "plastic bag monsters," covered in plastic bags, for the meeting.

The original ordinance began Oct. 15, 2011, and affected 167 stores inside the city limits, mainly grocery stores and pharmacies.

A one-year progress report by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability showed that the city received fewer than five complaints from consumers regarding retailers that weren't complying with the ordinance.

The report also stated reusable checkout bag use increased 304 percent. Use of recyclable paper checkout bags increased 491 percent.

The new proposal will prohibit any retail business or food provider with a store size greater than 10,000 square feet from using plastic bags beginning on March 1, 2013. All others will be required to only provide recycled paper bags or reusable bags by Oct. 1, 2013.

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