Soldotna to consider banning plastic bags

Soldotna may see an influx of reusable grocery totes this November, with the introduction of a new ordinance banning plastic shopping bags.

The ordinance, sponsored by council members Lisa Parker and Linda Murphy, will be introduced at Wednesday’s meeting. It calls for an effective date of Nov. 1, 2018 to give businesses the opportunity to make the transition.

According to a memorandum attached to the ordinance, there are “countless reasons for cutting down on the number of plastic bags.”

The memo says that they are unsightly, bad for wildlife and take years to decompose.

There has been no immediate outright opposition to the ban from local businesses as Parker and City Manager Stephanie Queen tested the waters, the memo states, but businesses did request a later effective date to give them and their staff time to inform shoppers of any changes.

Currently, Bethel and Hooper Bay also have bans on single-use plastic bags. Homer enacted a similar ban in 2013, but it was repealed by a citizen initiative later that year.

Wasilla enacted a law banning plastic bags at the beginning of the year, with an effective date of July 1, 2018.

A public hearing for the proposed ordinance is scheduled for April 11.

Reach Kat Sorensen at ksorensen@peninsulaclarion.com

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