LOGAN, Utah — A proposal for a countywide plastic reduction program has been put forth by the Cache County Solid Waste Advisory Board. According to board members, the next step is gathering feedback from local business owners.
The director of the Bear River Health Department, Lloyd Berentzen, said throughout the discussion on plastic waste reduction, there have been a few retailers providing consistent feedback. However, Berentzen and other members want to expand that circle.
“We need to have a number of retailers that come together and give some input,” Berentzen said.
The current proposal states that the purpose of the plan is to both reduce plastic bag litter and mitigate the negative environmental impacts of plastic bags.
To accomplish this, the proposal outlines plastic reduction options businesses would need to follow if the plan was accepted. These plans are based on either pre-consumer plastic bag waste or post-consumer plastic bag waste. Some businesses may need to participate in both plans.
The options for these plans include businesses participating in plastic bag recycling at their facilities, bundling bags before disposal so they cannot be blown away, eliminating plastic bag distribution or providing plastic bags for a 10 cent fee.
In an effort to facilitate these conversations with local businesses, members of the board decided to host a lunch meeting next month to bring these stakeholders together.
Logan Municipal Council Member Herm Olsen, who has been one of the main proponents of eliminating plastic bags, said he tried to hold a retailer meeting last year but only had one attendee.
“We want to continue outreach, but if their past history perpetuates into the future, maybe we have to assume that the quiet voices that look at it say generically, ‘We are OK with it.’ They have as much weight or influence as two naysayers,” Olsen said.
Richmond Mayor Jeff Young said he visited a handful of businesses throughout the valley to gauge their feelings on the program and that they were all supportive of the efforts, but did want the freedom to reduce plastic in the ways that worked best for them.
“Where it got interesting to me was the perception of force and what they could do on their own for an incentivized program,” Young said.
The lunch meeting for retailers will be at noon June 24 at the Logan Environmental Building, 153 N. 1400 West. Board members are working on personally inviting retailers and distributing more information.