Oregon has always been known to be "greener" more than any other state in the United States, and it's not just because of their grass. Most people, especially those in the southern part of the U.S., see Oregon has a trend-setting, "hippie-type" area where yoga, green-living, and tree-hugging go hand in hand. But has Oregon set the bar high for other states with the new ban on plastic bags here in Corvallis?
Back when plastic first made it's appearance many grocery store clerks could be heard throughout the store with their trademark line of, "Will that be paper or plastic today?" While many shoppers would settle for plastic, as time went on people started steering clear of plastic over the course of it being offered, by stores.
Plastic bags contribute to the 12 most pollution items found along the coastline during cleanups according to the Center for Marine Conservation. Sea turtles and coral are the main species of animals that are killed by plastic bags yearly. Sea turtles mistake floating plastic bags as jellyfish and consume the plastic which eventually leads to death.
Recently, the city of Portland put a ban into effect that will be initiated and put into action by October of this year. The ban will be in full force for all of the grocery stores, small and large market chains such as Target, that have more than $2 million in gross annual sales per year. Mayor Sam Adams says this ban will be a great achievement against the battle of pollution that is currently an issue within the city alone. Following their lead the city of Corvallis fell into line with the ban on plastics.
Corvallis, a city of more than 50,000 people, and also the home of the Oregon State Beavers, put the ban on plastic into effect on January 1st, 2013 for stores that employ over 50 employees and the second phase of the ban will affect smaller stores, and it goes into action on July 1st of this year. The ban does not apply to produce or bulk food bags, but does apply to plastics that are used to bag grocery items.
The city of Corvallis has also made it possible for stores to carry paper bags, but a fee of .5 cents will apply for any shopper needing to use a paper bag over their own bags, or reusable shopping bags.
The city of Eugene will soon have the same ban put into effect this coming May.