FILE – Plastic grocery bags line the checkout counters at Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market in Bentonville, Ark., Thursday June 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Sarah Bentham)
LOGAN – Logan Municipal Council members voted Tuesday night to delay the ban on single use plastic bags in Logan.
The vote came after Solid Waste Advisory Board (SWAB) member and Richmond Mayor Jeff Young asked the council to postpone the April 22 start date to July 31 in an effort to give the board more time to finalize and implement a countywide plan to address plastic waste.
In December 2019, council members voted to pass a resolution in support of the countywide plastic waste program. However, in the event the program failed to be implemented, they also passed a “fall back safety” ordinance to ban the distribution of single use plastic bags in Logan and ensure their commitment to reduce plastic waste.
The Solid Waste Advisory Board has been working with Logan City Environmental Department and the Bear River Health Department to implement a “Plastic Management Program” for Cache County.
According to Young, businesses in Logan and other cities in the county approached the board with confusion after the ordinance was passed. He said there were concerns that since the ban was only in Logan, those with multiple businesses in different cities would have different rules. Many didn’t like the idea of the “strict cut off” in April and preferred the SWAB plan because it allowed them options.
“The plan we laid out for the county talked about ways that businesses could look and assess their own scenarios,” said Young. “It allows an option on the table that better works with businesses because it gives more depth in the avenue they can take rather than a single option.”
The plan, which is still being tweaked, suggests businesses throughout the county eliminate free single use plastic bags, or charge the customer a $0.10 fee per bag. Businesses could be charged a handling fee to dispose of plastics at the county waste facility.
Young said business owners he’s talked with are on board with the idea of helping the environment, but prefer “to collectively work together” on a countywide plan so that “everyone is on the same page.”
Council member and business owner Mark Anderson agreed.
“I think it’s good for people to have options and choices instead of being told this is what you’re going to do,” he said.
Council member Tom Jensen voted against the ordinance last year and supported the amendment to delay the ban.
“I’d rather have it be a cooperative thing than a compulsory thing where we have potential bad feelings and lack of cooperation and we lose the whole county, rather than what we are trying to do,” he said.