Tompkins County Plastic Bag Ban Debate
September 25, 2013
ITHACA -- (WENY) Joseph Wetmore, owns Autumn Leaves Bookstore in Downtown Ithaca. And has been using reusable bags for years now.
"We give out reused boxes and reused bags because I don't want to be producing garbage and I'm doing the best I can to avoid it," said business owner Joseph Wetmore.
He headed over to a meeting about the plastic bag ban proposal. Where other business owners there felt the same.
"I have always tried to run my business in a way that reflects my values and having a big family it's important to me that the choices that I make in my business are choices that will create the kind of world that I want my family to live in," said Jan Rhodes Norman, another business owner.
In her world, there are no plastic bags. Which is exactly what the Environmental Management Council is proposing, to ban single use plastic bags throughout Tompkins County.
The presentation showed countries worldwide that have banned plastic bags.
And places in the US, such as LA, Seattle and Portland. Bags for say, your Chinese food would be okay. But retailers will have to away with their bags, or face a fine of $150 dollars. Only paper bags and reusable bags will be available, for a fee.
Some at the meeting were worried if re-usable bags could get contaminated.
But for business owners like Jason, he's happy with the ban.
"I like the idea of the plastic bag ban. I think we produce far too many disposable things in our society and I think this is a step towards eliminating that on a county wide basis," added Wetmore.
If all goes through the ban could be enacted as soon as this spring.