Corvallis, Oregon Votes 8-1 in Favor of Bag Ban
On Monday, June 18, Corvallis became the second city in Oregon to ban single-use plastic bags at retail checkout counters. Corvallis joins a growing wave of West Coast communities that have taken a stand against the environmental impacts of plastic bags in our storm drains, river beds and ocean. ”Corvallis has an opportunity to be an environmental leader in Oregon,” said Valerie Cleland of Environment Oregon, which is supporting and promoting similar bans in other parts of the state.
The Corvallis City Council voted 8 to 1 enact the ban, and follows Portland in banning single-use plastic bags. The ban in Corvallis would generally apply to single-use plastic shopping bags at retail outlets. The exceptions would be plastic bags for wrapping meat, produce or bulk food items. In addition, pharmacy bags, bars and restaurants are exempt.
Businesses would also be required to charge a 5 cent pass-through fee for paper grocery bags to encourage consumers to switch to using reusable shopping bags for carrying their purchases. Retailers with more than 50 employees will have six months after the ordinance takes effect to phase out their plastic bag inventory. The smaller retailers will have a year to make the transition.
Because the vote was not unanimous, Councilmember Richard Hervey, the lone member who voted against it, will have an opportunity to make additional statements for the record when it comes up for a second reading at the City Council’s July 2 meeting. He supported the ban but indicated that he was worried that it may not hold up against a legal challenge.