CORVALLIS, Ore. — The Corvallis City Council unanimously approved two changes to the plastic bag ban in Corvallis. Come July 1, small businesses won’t have to charge five cents for paper bags sized differently from barrel sized bags. The bags also won’t have to meet the 40 percent post-consumer recycled content. It’s a big step forward for small businesses.
“Well, we’re glad because at least I’m not throwing away $5,000 worth of inventory and having to replace it,” said Donna Bella owner Susan McMahon.
It’s a different story for men’s clothing store Melhaf’s Clothier. The owner uses plastic bags to protect his products from the rain. Under the ban, plastic bags are allowed if they’re 2.25 mils thick. His bags are 2 mils and he says he has years of supply left.
“I didn’t seem to think it was fair that you can have almost 14,000 bags that you’re going to dump in a landfill and fill it with 3,000 worth of cost,” said Richard Mehlhaf.
He’s requesting grandfathering in a clause that would allow him to use up his inventory before he makes the switch. Also, a key supporter of the ban wants the city to charge five cents for a second bag size called one eighth barrel, which is smaller than the barrel bag. The ban is clearly a work in progress, which makes Susan McMahon worried about the future.
“There’s a possibility that this could come back to the city at one point to revisit and review, and go backwards,” said McMahon.
The administrative services committee will consider the new requests sometime this month.