It’s been about half a year since Logan Municipal Council members decided to educate the public about plastic reduction for six months before implementing the city’s program to cut down on plastic waste.
At Tuesday’s Council Meeting, Environmental Director Issa Hamud said members of the Solid Waste Advisory Board suggested extending that education period for another six months.
This education period is part of the city’s plastic waste reduction plan, which was drafted after the council considered an outright ban on plastic bags in the city earlier this year.
Council members decided to address the issue through implementing a special handling fee that businesses who don’t follow the city’s steps for reducing plastic waste will be charged. Some of these steps including bundling plastic for recycling on the business’s facility and only distributing plastic bags if a 10 cent fee is charged.
Since Logan city is in charge of waste collection for the entire county, this decision is further reaching than a ban specific to the city.
When it comes to implementing the plastic waste reduction plan, Hamud said one of the challenges is what to do about collecting the material plastic material that is bundled for recycling.
“The difficulty is collecting it and the quantity. The weight of the material doesn’t justify collecting enough of it to be baled and hauled out of town,” Hamud said.
Herm Olsen, the council member who originally proposed the ordinance, said business owners who were previously opposed to the measures have been coming around to the idea.
“One previously highly opposed merchant said something like, ‘We will embrace your plan like a bear hug if you adopt it,’” Olsen said.
According to Hamud, over 100 retailers were invited to attend one of two meetings on the new proposal, and about 70 of those retailers received a hand-delivered invitation. Despite these efforts, he said less than 10 showed up.
“Their absence presumes support,” Olsen said.
Of those retailers who were present at the meetings, Hamud said the only wish they expressed regarding the plan was an across-the-board policy that would apply to each of them in the same way.
At the suggestion of Olsen, council members decided to revisit the plan in a few months and obtain more feedback from the solid waste advisory board on what should be done moving forward.