3 more Ore. cities targeted for plastic bag ban

3 more Ore. cities targeted for plastic bag ban

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by Keely Chalmers, KGW Reporter

kgw.com

Posted on July 31, 2013 at 5:50 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 31 at 11:38 AM

PORTLAND -- Portland's plastic bag ban could be expanding to the suburbs, and an environmental group is leading the fight to ban the checkout grocery bags in several outlying cities.

Environment Oregon made stops in Tigard, Lake Oswego and Beaverton Tuesday urging those cities to ban the checkout-stand bags.

The group announced it has gathered thousands of petitions for a plastic bag ban in those cities.

Environmental Oregon claims Oregonians use over a billion plastic bags every year, with far too many ending up in our waterways endangering wildlife.

“Their digestive tracts become filled with plastic… they think they’re full and then they starve to death,” said Sarah Higginbotham, state director for Environment Oregon, about marine wildlife.

Higginbotham hopes others will follow Portland's example.

Portland banned the bags two years ago, but nearby, Beaverton shoppers had mixed opinions on whether the bags should stay or go.

“I use them because we have a cat. I use it for my cat litter, so I would miss it,” said shopper Barb Schwartz.

“You hear about the floating island of plastic in the Pacific and I don’t think it's a bad thing to limit our output of plastic,” said another shopper.

According the city of Portland, a year after its plastic bag ban went into effect the number of people using reusable bags jumped 300 percent.

A spokesman for the city of Beaverton says although it's not a priority, the city would be willing to consider a ban on plastic bags.

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