The Logan Municipal Council on Tuesday voted 3-2 to repeal the contentious plastic bag ban that was originally passed in December 2019. In addition they unanimously voted in support of the countywide plastic and waste management program.
“I have no problem personally or as a business owner not using single-use bags, but that’s only a small portion of what we’re dealing with when it comes to plastics,” said Council Chair Mark Anderson during the Dec. 7 meeting. “I’d like to find a bigger solution for everything, but I think at this time, moving forward with the countywide plan as proposed is probably our best move.”
Anderson, Tom Jensen and Amy Anderson voted to repeal the bag ban while Ernesto López and Jeannie Simmonds gave nays. For López and Simmonds the biggest concern was giving up an ordinance before countywide support was in place for a waste management program.
“I would really like an official nod from the county. I fully support the recycling program. I feel we can do better at communicating with the businesses to implement it,” López said. “Maybe we need to push it … but I would like the county to give us an official sense of whether they are going to support it or not before we repeal the ban of the bags.”
The plastic waste management program is set to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2022. Anderson said he spoke with County Council Chair Gina Worthen to get an idea of what their decision might be, but Worthen responded that the council did not have enough information at the time to reply. Issa Hamud, Logan environmental director, is slated to appear in front of the County Council on Dec.14.
Jensen, who voted against the bag ban back in 2019, applauded Hamud and the Solid Waste Advisory Waste Board for coming up with a good countywide program. Jensen also did not see the point in having two separate programs, one for the City of Logan and one for Cache County.
“It’s hard to be recycling on one side of the street and not on the other side,” he said. “For the reasons mentioned earlier, the broad spectrum of efforts that they’re making … I strongly support the countywide plan.”
Amy Anderson, who was in support of the original bag ban ordinance, did not feel the community would be ready to implement the ban when the ordinance was set to take place on Jan. 1. She noted the possibility of frustration for both businesses and consumers.
Hamud presented the plastic waste management program to the Logan Municipal Council during its meeting on Nov. 16. In addition to discussing how his department planned to handle plastic waste, he also provided options for retailers and consumers to do their part with plastic waste.
These options included a business-implemented recycling program at the facility, properly disposing of plastic bag waste by bundling bags, and charging 10 cents per plastic bag.
“I think the fee helps to motivate behavior while the ban is preventing behavior,” Amy Anderson said. “I think ultimately the best thing we can do is help create change in people’s behaviors.”