Logan ban on plastic bags postponed again

The coronavirus has again stymied local efforts to reduce the environmental impact of disposable plastic bags by forcing the Logan City Council to postpone a municipal ban on those items.

LOGAN – The coronavirus has struck again, forcing the Logan City Council to postpone implementation of a municipal code barring the distribution of single-use plastic grocery bags.

Frustrating local environmental advocates and waste managers, the plastic bag ban, which had been scheduled to go into effect July 31, will now be delayed for five months.

The bag ban was originally passed in December of 2019 at the urging of the members of the Cache County Solid Waste Advisory Board. At that time, Logan joined Park City and Moab in pioneering efforts to reduce the pollution resulting from lightweight, single-use plastic bags.

That objective was to be accomplished through the simple expedient of making it illegal for any retailer to distribute disposable plastic bags to any customer. The county solid waste board planned to assist in the implementation of the ban with a public awareness program about the environmental impact of plastic wastes and by helping retailers make the transition from plastic bags to reusable cloth satchels and bags made from recycled paper.

But the bag ban, originally set to go into effect in April, was short-circuited by the coronavirus outbreak in mid-March because public health officials expressed concern that the fabric of reusable cloth bags might spread COVID-19.

While the county’s solid waste managers went back to the drawing board, the Logan City Council postponed the effective date of the bag ban first to July 31 and now until Jan. 1, 2021.

Ironically, health experts are now questioning whether reusable cloth bags actually pose any threat of COVID-19 infection. Recent information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that the novel virus is more likely to be transmitted via respiratory droplets than by contact with objects.

With the environmental ordinance on-hold, the members of the county solid waste board are now exploring alternative options that might be less arbitrary than an outright ban on plastic bags.

Richmond Mayor Jeff Young, the chair of that panel, has said that Cache Valley retailers have indicated a willingness to cooperate with the environmental ordinance, but would prefer to have a countywide alternative that would impact all local businesses equally.

The resolution passed by members of the Logan City Council July 7 specifically excludes many plastic bags from the ban that is now slated to go into effect on New Year’s Day.

Those exemptions include bags provided by pharmacies; newspaper bags; laundry/dry cleaning bags; and storage bags for food, garbage, pet waste or yard waste.

Also excluded from the ban are plastic bags used by consumers within retail stores to package bulk items such as produce, nuts, grains, candy or small hardware items; to hold frozen food, meat or fish; and to wrap flowers and potted plants.

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6 Comments

  • L Allen July 8, 2020 at 12:39 pm Reply

    Should be removed off of the books permanently. It was a crusade by an outgoing council member that should have never passed in the first place.

    • Free Bird July 8, 2020 at 4:50 pm Reply

      Amen!

    • One who knows July 10, 2020 at 10:54 am Reply

      I agree..

  • Dustin July 8, 2020 at 3:59 pm Reply

    If they are bad they are all bad. It is like virus is bad if you have a wedding but not if you are rioting. The ban is stupid leave it alone if a shopper wants to bring own bag let them. If not don’t force them. If Herms wants to supply no bags let them.

  • Herm Olsen July 9, 2020 at 6:55 am Reply

    While plastic is a wonderful product in many instances, it’s indiscriminate use is bad for our community. There is no evidence that reusable bags transmit any disease, and are washable. What we do know is that the single-use bags are an ugly blight in our gutters, on our streets, and in our waterways. This effort isn’t a ‘crusade’ except for making Logan a better place to live. If a person chooses to pollute, they need to pay the price for that. We can at least do that. And why do you, the producer of CacheValleyDaily, allow people to hide behind pseudonyms. Such people are usually more cowardly and vicious when they don’t have to take public ownership for their nastigrams.

    • Blayne July 9, 2020 at 8:48 am Reply

      Why are you singling out plastic bags as a source of pollution? That’s discrimination. Plastic bags matter, too. How about you stop driving your car, mowing your lawn, or taking a dump? All those things contribute to pollution. Move to California with the other like-minded liberals already.

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