Statewide plastic bag ban in jeopardy
Portland Mayor Sam Adams and Oregon state Sen. Mark Hass want to ban single use plastic grocery bags. But the race to be the first to pass legislation threatens to unhinge the effort to enact the ban statewide.
This month Adams proposed banning plastic grocery bags in the city. He also wants to impose a 5 cent fee on paper bags starting in January 2012. The mayor’s office cited an independent poll showing two thirds of Portl timberland anders support a bag ban.
Hass said the city is pre empting the legislative process and could upend the coalition of business interests that support it, including grocery operators and a Beaverton bag manufacturer.
“I think Sam wanted in on this,” said Hass, a Beaverton Democrat.
Adams met with state leaders Wednesday to discuss the issue.
Hass introduced a statewide grocery bag ban earlier this year. It didn’t pass out of committee, but led to industry discussions. Two weeks ago, about the time Adams announced his plan to pass a local ordinance, Hass’ bill was released in draft form.
Adams is no newcomer to the issue. He has promoted the idea for at least three y timberland ears, since he was a city commissioner.
Seattle and San Francisco have passed similar measures. The idea has spread nationwide with California and other states weighing similar laws.
Roy Kaufmann, Adams’ spokesman, said Portland’s leadership bolsters the case for an Oregon wide ban on plastic grocery bags.
Hass isn’t so sure rural Oregon will follow Portland’s lead.
“I don’t want a dark cloud from Portland to jeopardize this,” he said.
Hass asked Portland leaders timberland to endorse the state legislation rather than establish a local law. The Northwest Grocery Association wants an expanded ban that doesn’t target groceries only.