Paper or post-consumer materials? Changes to Corvallis bag ban

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Nearly four months after Corvallis instituted a plastic bag ban for big retailers, city officials are proposing a similar ban for smaller stores this summer.

Corvallis started off 2013 with a plastic bag ban for supermarkets and large retail establishments.

While many feel the changes have worked well for the city, the Administrative Services Committee held a vote on Wednesday (April 17) to make some changes to the plastic bag ban.

The changes would extend the bag ban to include small stores as well.

The initial ban said those handing out paper instead of plastic must have bags made up of at least 40 percent post-consumer products. Stores also had to have a mandatory charge for those bags of at least a nickel.

The other big change states that retailers giving out specialty or gift-style bags are exempt from the 40 percent post-consumer recycled requirements.

"Part of the concern from local business owners was that the paper bag industry has not caught up with providing those types of bags for sale at a reasonable cost to them," said committee member Kris De Jong.

Theresa McLaren, store manager of "Many Hands Trading", told KVAL News she agrees with the changes.

"Bags are definitely a cost of doing business, and the 5 cents doesn't even begin to cover the cost of the bag but I know customers don't really want to pay for a bag either," said McLaren. "From a customer service aspect I'm glad that we don't have to do that. Its nice to have that option not to."

The city council will discuss the changes on May 6. If they are approved, the new requirements will go into effect on the first of July.