The Wood Village City Council had planned on enacting a city-wide ban on single-use plastic bags, but the issue kept getting postponed, and a proposed Oregon House bill could impose a statewide prohibition anyway.
A bag ban discussion stalled in Wood Village last fall because councilors wanted to talk about the issue with all councilors present. Former Mayor Tim Clark was frequently absent from council meetings due to health reasons, and eventually resigned as mayor to focus on his battle with cancer.
Although the council has yet to revisit the bag ban, new Wood Village Mayor Scott Harden wrote a letter supporting House Bill 2509 to the state legislators who sponsored the bill.
"We have chosen not to proceed with our local ordinance pending the outcome of action proposed at the state level," Harden said. "If you do not act, we will."
If passed, HB 2509 would ban single-use plastic bags and paper bags not made of recycled material. The bill would authorize the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to impose a civil penalty of $250 per day to retailers that break the ordinance. The bill has received a public hearing, but as of Wednesday, March 13, no further action had been scheduled in the Oregon Legislature.
More than 10 Oregon cities have passed a single-use plastic bag bans, but all the city ordinances are vastly different.
"We urge the Legislature to proceed with a uniform system to regulate plastic bags, establishing terms and how the transition will occur for all businesses," Harden stated in his letter. "Your action will assist in averting some of the confusion that already exists as Kaiser, Eugene, Portland, Tigard, Newport, Manzanita, Corvallis, Forest Grove, Hood River, McMinnville, Milwaukie, Bend, Hillsboro (have enacted) separate codes that make differing procedures for citizens and businesses."
Wood Village councilors will discuss the issue further at the council's upcoming meeting on Thursday, March 14, at Wood Village City Hall, 2055 N.E. 238 Drive.
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