Plastic bag ban not likely to cross Columbia River

first_imgIt wasn’t exactly a surprise when the city of Portland officially banned single-use plastic bags in large grocery stores.It wasn’t exactly a surprise when the city of Portland officially banned single-use plastic bags in large grocery stores.The idea had been kicked around in discussions for more than a year before city commissioners approved the ban July 21 — and action occurred only after the Oregon Legislature couldn’t make a statewide ban happen. Portland’s ban takes effect Oct. 15.Don’t expect the ubiquitous plastic bags to disappear in Vancouver anytime soon. They’re actually becoming more of a headache for the Clark County recycling program, said county waste reduction specialist Rob Guttridge.“We try to really make it easy to recycle,” he said. “Unfortunately, that makes it easy to put things in the recycling that shouldn’t be there.”The bags most often cause problems by gumming up the county’s sorting machines, Guttridge said, noting plastic film tends to wrap itself around the rollers used to separate items picked up from curbside recycling bins. Recyclable items such as cardboard, for example, are not acceptable if they’re wrapped in plastic, he said. The Portland ban targets grocery stores with gross annual sales of $2 million or more. Two of Clark County’s most prevalent grocers, Safeway and Fred Meyer, fall into that category. But representatives of both companies said they have no plans for a larger change outside Portland.last_img read more