Nov 15 - New & Improved: Portland Expands Bag Ban, Austin Tightens Language

This just in: single-use bag ordinances in two major US cities will soon be bigger and better than before.

Portland, OR

This afternoon, the Portland City Council voted 5-0 for an expansion of its plastic bag ban. Portland was the first Oregon city to adopt a single-use plastic bag ban in July 2011, which went into effect in October of the same year.

The expansion, championed by Major Sam Adams (pictured on the right with Bag Monsters) would include large retailers starting next March, and encompass all other retail stores and restaurants by October 1, 2013. Read a news article.

Austin, TX

Austin City Council also modified its ordinance today, which goes into effect next March. Austin made history by becoming the first local governement to ban all single-use bags in March of 2012.

The changes will reportedly increase the thickness requirement for reusable bags (to 4 mils) and remove a cap on reusable bag charges, so that consumers will find both value and durability in reusable bags. Temporary exemptions would be permitted.

Learn about plastic bag pollution.

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(photo courtesy of the Oregonian)