The Newport City Council will hear recommendations from the city's Plastic Bag Task Force at its 7 o'clock meeting Monday. Local residents and environmental groups have been working for months to get a plastic bag ban passed in the city.
Charlie Plybon lives in Newport and is the Oregon Field Manager for Surfrider Foundation. He says the Task Force is equally endorsing two different options.
"The committee that made the recommendations had a small majority favoring a plastic bag ban with a pass through cost on paper -- looking at a 5 cent charge on paper to help encourage further use of reusable bags."
The other option is not to ban the bags, but instead just institute a fee for both paper and plastic at the check-out line.
Plybon says Newport is in a unique position because of its small size and tourism-based economy.
"I think Newport has the ability to be a real leader on this issue on the coast. Of yet we've had any cities on the coast of Oregon pass anything more than a resolution supporting state-wide legislation. And I think this a good opportunity for the City of Newport, being a tourist destination, to really highlight that connection of plastic bags and the ocean and our impact of plastic in general on the ocean."
The Newport City Council is expected to move forward on one of the Task Force's recommendations tonight. Plybon says he expects a final vote on this issue before the end of the year.
Copyright 2012 KLCC