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Confused About Bend's Plastic Bag Ban? Here's What you Need to Know

BH
by Ben Hemson07/01/2019 10:55 AM
Updated: 07/01/2019

What happens when you have a state law that covers the same thing as a recently adopted local ordinance? A little confusion. Read on for more information on complying with the new statewide plastic bag ban and the fate of Bend’s local ban.

Late last year the Bend City Council approved a plastic bag ban for retailers, requiring a phase out of non-reusable plastic bags and a charge to customers of 10 cents per bag, in part to offset the higher cost of paper bags (this money would be kept by retailers). However, a statewide bag ban was approved by the legislature in mid-June that largely overrides locally adopted plastic bag bans, requires a fee of five cents for customers receiving a paper bag, and applies to a broader range of businesses including restaurants providing takeout.

At their last meeting on June 19th, City Councilors said they were willing to repeal the local bag ban and let the state law govern things going forward. A final vote on this won’t happen until July 17th at the next Council meeting. In the meantime, my advice to retailers is to continue providing the bags you already do and hold off on implementing a customer fee until January 1, 2020.

Enforcement of either ban is not scheduled to take effect until January 1 as well, you won’t have to worry about a potential fine for providing a plastic bag or for not charging a fee until then.

Bag Ban Highlights

 

Bend Ban*

Statewide Ban

Impacted Businesses

Large Retailers

Retailers & Restaurants Providing Takeout Bags

Fee Charged by Retailers

10 cents

5 cents

Planned Enforcement Date

July 1-Phase In

January 1, 2020-Enforcement of Rules

January 1, 2020

*May be repealed on July 17th, 2019

You can expect an update from me after the Council vote on a repeal of the local ordinance. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality will handle the outreach and enforcement of the statewide bag ban. However, if you have questions, feedback, or are just plain confused, please reach out at bhemson@bendoregon.gov or by phone at 541-388-5529.

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