CORVALLIS, OR – Last night, Corvallis City Council took an important stand against ocean pollution, becoming the second city in Oregon to approve a comprehensive ban on plastic bags. While a second reading and final vote are still required to secure the ordinance, all city councilors are on record in support of the bill, which they voted 8 to 1 to enact at yesterday’s meeting.
“City Councilors should be applauded for their leadership ,” said Sarah Higginbotham, Environment Oregon’s State Director. “Last night took us one step closer to a big victory for our oceans and for the Corvallis community, who came together to reduce the wasteful disposable plastic that pollutes our environment.”
Environment Oregon, along with the Mary’s Peak Chapter of the Sierra Club, and the Surfrider Foundation testified in support of the ordinance. The coalition of organizations worked to bring together businesses, citizens, and organizations around the issue.
Over 2,400 citizen petitions in favor of the ban had already been delivered to the city council, as well as 60 signatures of supportive businesses. The Northwest Grocery Association also supported the ordinance.
The city also made history by becoming the first in Oregon to include a required pass-through cost on paper bags of five cents—data demonstrates the inclusion of this policy most effectively encourages consumers to switch to reusable bags.
The lone dissention represented one city councilor’s desire to strengthen the stated intent of the ordinance on the record, though he is in full support of the ban. Because the vote was not unanimous, the councilor will have the opportunity to make additional statements for the record when it comes up for a second reading at the council’s July 2 meeting.
“By passing a strong ban on plastic bags, Corvallis is leading the way in Oregon for sustainable policies that make sense,” Higginbotham said. “Nothing we use for five minutes should pollute our environment for hundreds of years.”