Eugene council considers plastic bag ban

The Associated Press /

EUGENE — Eugene is expected to join the Oregon cities considering restrictions on plastic bags at retail stores.

After the Legislature failed to act on a ban this year, Portland prohibited plastic bags at checkout stands in supermarkets and big retailers. The Eugene Register-Guard reports that the Eugene City Council hasn’t set a date yet, but is getting ready to study a bag ban.

The paper said bans are being contemplated in other Oregon cities, such as Corvallis, Newport and Ashland.

Oregonians use about 1.7 billion plastic bags a year, and many pollute the ocean and kill marine life, said Dave Mathews of Environment Oregon, one of the groups that asked the Eugene council to consider a ban.

“There is no reason a product we use for a few minutes should float in our oceans for a few hundred years,” Mathews said.

A ban would eliminate consumer’s choices as well as a “highly convenient, 100 percent recyclable product,” said Anna Richter Taylor, a Portland spokeswoman for a plastic bag manufacturing firm.