The vote on a Logan plastic bag ban has been tabled for six months while members of the Solid Waste Advisory Board continue to develop plans for a countywide plastic waste reduction program.
“While I am incredibly concerned about plastics in our environment and incredibly concerned about how we can make this work, I want us to do it as a county,” said Council Member Jeannie Simmonds. “I want us to do it as an entire valley.”
Logan Municipal Council members voted on this motion 4 to 1, with the original sponsor of the ban, Herm Olsen, voting against tabling it.
Although Olsen did not support the motion, he said he preferred the option of tabling it to having the ban be defeated.
“That’s better than rejecting it outright,” Olsen said.
The council tabled the ban after hearing a presentation from a subcommittee of the Solid Waste Advisory Board, consisting of Cache County Executive Craig Buttars, Bear River Health Department Developmental Director Lloyd Berentzen and Richmond Mayor Jeff Young.
Buttars said a unique factor in Cache County is that its many smaller communities come together to compromise on issues. He said he thought more would be accomplished in the long run if there was intermunicipality cooperation on reducing plastic.
“The board feels that the issue is a much broader issue than what is being addressed by just the ban on single-use bags,” he said.
Young echoed this idea.
“I do see this as an opportunity with Logan bringing up the topic for us to be able to broaden this into additional cities,” Young said.
Young said for him it is more important to have people in the valley look at the issue deeply than have a deadline.
“My concern is if one entity moves too fast, it’s a lot harder for us to rally everyone else,” he said.
Before the council voted to table the ban, as a compromise Olsen suggested amending the ban’s enactment date to March 1, 2020, with the clause that if the plastic waste reduction program was implemented the ban would go away.
Council Member Amy Anderson said she was worried the message other municipalities would receive was that Logan officials did not want to work with them, which could be detrimental to the spirit of compromise.
“I would not want to do something to jeopardize that,” Anderson said.
Simmonds said she was concerned about passing any ordinances that had a promise of repeal attached.
“I don’t like the idea of enacting ordinances that we promise to rescind in a year, when some of us may not even be on the council,” Simmonds said. “So we have obligated another group of individuals to implement something that they may not agree with.”
While the ban is tabled, the Solid Waste Advisory Board members will continue to develop the plastic reduction plan. Buttars said he believes the board members have a favorable view of this proposal.