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Possible Plastic Bag Ban in Ashland

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ASHLAND, Ore. — Plastic bags could be a thing of the past in Ashland. City council held a study session Monday nigh exploring the idea of a city-wide ban.

Ashland would become the first city in the southern Oregon to ban plastic bags. The move wouldn’t mean paper is the preferred choice. Shoppers would be encouraged to bring re-usable cloth bags. Several grocery stores in the city have already discontinued the option encouraging customers to bring in re-usable cloth bags. That is exactly what advocates for the ban are hoping for: an increase in the use of the reusable bags within the city.

Environment Oregon is a group pushing for the move and representatives say more than 500 residents and 100 businesses have signed on in favor of the change. Some Ashland residents said they do like plastic bags because they are able to find other uses for them around the house.

Environment Oregon says the average person uses about 500 plastic bags a year and Oregonians go through 1.7 billion bags annually. If drafted Monday night, a vote on the ordinance wouldn’t take place until about mid-January. If approved, Ashland would join Portland, Eugene and Corvallis with a plastic bag ban.