Should plastic bags be banned in Oregon?
SALEM, Ore. -- A plan to get plastic bags out of Oregon grocery stores could get the attention of lawmakers this session.
Senator Mark Hass (D-Beaverton) drafted a bill banning plastic grocery bags. SB 1009 would allow stores to offer only paper and reusable bags for customers. Read the bill (PDF)
Senate President Peter Courtney said Monday the Legislature would not address the bill in a February special session, but changed his ind Tuesday and said he was open to the idea -- if lawmakers and industry representatives can find common ground.
A hearing was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.
(To share your opinion on the plastic bag issue, vote in the poll at right.)
Both house and senate have given themselves until the end of the month to finish the special session then go home.
Asked about the bill at a news conference Monday, Courtney had indicated the bill was going nowhere. But his latest word on the issue says the "door is open" if sponsors can find a "path together" with industry.
The bill is still considered a long shot, but is getting a hearing.
Market of Choice, with stores in Eugene, Ashland, Portland and West Linn, banned the bags, but customers have access to plastic in the produce and meat departments.
Whole Foods also ditched the plastic option last year at all 270 of its stores in the U.S., Canada and United Kingdom.
Portland Mayor Sam Adams earlier bagged an idea to tax paper and plastic bags used by shoppers, citing the current condition of the economy was not the time to add a new tax.
Adams wanted to charge 5 to 20 cents per plastic or paper bag to encourage shoppers to use reusable cloth sacks.