Portland, Oregon Plastic Bag Ban Begins Oct. 15

Posted by — October 7, 2011 9:28 am

The state of Oregon failed to pass a plastic bag  ban earlier this year.  Now, cities in Oregon are taking action.  Much the same as happened in the state of California.

The City of Portland, Oregon passed a plastic bag ban on July 21st of this year.  The ban is set to take effect on October, 15th, 2011, only a few days away.  Portland Mayor Sam Adams actually started the movement back in 2010.

Mayor Adams, along with other city mayors, actually preferred a statewide ban as the ultimate solution to single-use plastic bags.  Since that didn’t happen, the Mayor and City Council took action for the City of Portland.

In an FAQ published by the Mayor’s office, Portland’s plastic bag ordinance is squarely aimed at large grocery stores and large retailers.  According to the Mayor, these retailers are the largest distributors of single-use plastic checkout bags.  The ordinance prohibits these retailers from using plastic bags to package a customer’s purchases for transport from the store.

The ordinance is prohibiting only single-use plastic checkout bags.  Paper bags may still be used and no fee will be charged.  In the FAQ, reusable bags are clearly promoted.

However, Portland’s economy is impacted by the paper bag industry.  Locally, 300 jobs are directly related to the manufacture and recycling of paper bags and another 1600 jobs are indirectly related to the paper bag industry.  So the use of paper checkout bags benefits the local economy.

So Portland, get ready for October 15, 2011.  Remember to bring your reusable bags when you go shopping.

For more information on Portland’s plastic bag ban, visit Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.