Wasilla City Council approves plastic bag ban

Published: Jan. 9, 2018 at 5:10 PM AKST
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The Wasilla City Council approved an ordinance to ban single-use plastic bags on Monday evening in a vote of 5 to 1.

The ordinance means retail businesses will have to stop distributing plastic bags by this summer.

Language in the ordinance cites the burden on the environment, endangerment of wildlife, harm to bodies of water, and problems with solid waste management.

The ban also includes a penalty for retailers caught distributing illegal bags.

First time offenders will have a warning, a second offense will cost $100 and third time offenses carry a $300 fine.

City council member, Tim Burney, who voted against the ban said his reason for voting "no" has to do with government overreach.

"It's here we go again, the government telling us what to do what we can and can't do, I can't go with that just in my philosophy of how government should run," Burney said.

Cottle said the ordinance allows time for businesses to come up with an alternative.

"Most of your chain stores could move the plastic bags from one location to another and we are reviewing for the smaller stores if they can't get rid of all their bags by then, then maybe there's a way we can buy them back on a certain cent per pound ratio so they don't get stuck with them," Cottle said.

The ban goes into effect starting July 1st.