City Council to Revisit Paper Bag Fee

EUGENE, Ore. —┬áResidents continue to talk about the plastic bag ban, which went into effect May 1.

The most recent topic for discussion: whether the 5-cent fee on paper bags was a good idea.

“We used to get bags, paper or plastic regardless of the ban or not so they should keep to what we used to do and stop trying to make a profit off people,” said resident Inity Bless.

“I really feel strongly that we should pay for bags if we need them. So then it helps to remind us to bring our own bags,” said resident Julie Tilt.

The City Council says it may reverse the fee because it’s concerned about the fee’s burden on low-income residents. Council members will re-evaluate the 5-cent charge at Monday night’s meeting, and give the public a chance to weigh in.

“It’s kind of hard to measure that when it’s like well how are they going to measure it to know you know who is below the limit to not be eligible to pay the 5 cents,” said resident Kristine Kadwell.

Some residents say if lifting the fee is really designed to help those who can’t afford it, maybe those low-income residents need to re-think what they’re buying.

“How are they able to come in and spend that kind of money on these products and then not spend 5 cents on a bag to carry their products home,” Kadwell said.

Others argue the fee is just a hassle.

“We shouldn’t charge people to carry their groceries out. I mean they’re already paying for groceries so I mean they should be able to have whatever they want,” said resident Seth Pestle.

Some shoppers say the city should be giving out reusable bags for free to make it easier for residents to adhere to the new ordinance.

But whether residents are opposed to the fee or not, most can agree the city needs to reduce its carbon footprint.


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  1. ahshucks says:

    City council should revisit themselves. Not a Damn one deserves to be on the council making decisions. There should be a vote once a year so the public can make the decisions instead of the Shitty Council.

  2. lisa says:

    It would be silly to revert back to no longer charging for bags. Yeah, it’s a bit of a hassle to figure out how you’re getting your groceries home if you’ve forgotten a reusable bag, but if people are able to purchase enough items to warrant a bag then surely they can afford the nominal fee for the bag. What the City Council should consider is how to make reusable bags more accessible and the recycling of paper or plastic 5-cent bags. Why not create a program that allows people to exchange 20 (or however many!) plastic and/or paper bags for one reusable bag. This will also help encourage people to properly dispose of their “single usage” bags.

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