Following comments from the mayor of Richmond on Tuesday evening, the Logan Municipal Council unanimously passed an amendment pushing back the start date of the citywide plastic bag ban which was voted on in December.
The ordinance was originally introduced by former Council Member Herm Olsen as a “fallback” if the Solid Waste Advisory Board fails to adopt the countywide plastic waste plan by April 1. The ordinance altogether bans the distribution of disposable plastic bags in Logan.
The amendment pushes the date of the ban back to July with a hope to create a more cohesive collaboration throughout the county. The postponement of the ban, however, does not affect the resolution also passed by the municipal council in December to support the countywide plastic reduction plan.
Richmond Mayor Jeff Young, a board member on the Solid Waste Advisory Board, suggested that by pushing back the date of Logan’s citywide ban, other cities in the county could work on enacting the countywide plan without the added pressure from Logan’s plastic ban.
Young addressed the council members about the discussions he had with business owners and residents in the weeks following the vote on the original ordinance.
“We were just confused why Logan went ahead with a city ban if Richmond and other communities were moving in that direction,” Young said. “Businesses don’t want it to come across as if they don’t support bettering the environment. We want there to be an open dialogue about that but still come together and do something.”
He said that a few of the businesses that called him with concerns were based in Logan. Young said the concerns were about the ban creating an uneven landscape across the valley because it would only affect a single city.
“There is concern over the process,” Young said. “The ordinance leapfrogged over that process. This is a complex topic and our worry is that this date would push people away.”
Young said extending the date to July would be a compromise and there would be more time to gather more business and county support.
“I would rather have a cooperative thing than a compulsory thing,” said Tom Jensen, one of two council members who had voted against the citywide ban ordinance when it was first proposed.
“As a retailer, I don’t have a problem with the ban but I do think people should have options,” said Mark Anderson, a council member. “If we can provide more opportunities rather than obstacles, that should be the first choice.”
The strict deadline was first implemented to ensure that there would be some progress in terms of plastic waste reduction.
Young said because Logan is more progressive than other cities in the county, what would likely happen is that Logan enacting a ban prior to other cities being ready would lead to all other cities taking back seat and watching how Logan handled it without making their own plans.
“Collectively we have a better chance of working towards things that are better than we do individually, in this case,” Young said.