Ordinance could put fee on grocery bags

Posted at: 06/04/2013 5:31 PM
By: Ashley McElroy, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The question 'paper or plastic' might be followed by another one in Durango soon: Are you willing to pay for it?

A proposed ordinance is up for a vote tonight. It would put a fee on paper and plastic bags at grocery stores.

The Durango Bag It campaign has been trying to get an ordinance like this in place for two years.

"It takes a lot of energy to produce plastic bags...there are some toxicity issues around plastic," said organizer of Durango Bag It Erich Bussian.

Promoters of the ordinance said putting fees on plastic bags would promote the use of reusable bags and keep plastic out of landfills.

Durango City Councilor, Keith Brant will vote 'no' because only the five biggest grocery stores in Durango will be forced to charge for bags. He thinks it penalizes them.

"You're charging for paper or plastic bags at five stores but everybody every other retail business can have bags can give out bags without that fee," said Brant.

Even though Durango Bag It said they’ve collected more than 1000 signatures in favor of the ordinance, we found others who aren't too thrilled about it.

"It’s just another thing that you're forced to do and I just don't see the purpose of the need in that,” said Durango resident Paula Cooper.

But Durango Bag It argues, it's still a choice.

"You don't have to spend that money it’s not a tax it’s a choice you make you value that bag it has a value," said Bussian.

If the ordinance is passed, the fee would go into effect in six months.