Yesterday the Portland City Council unanimously voted to ban plastic bags. The city is the first in its state to pass such an ordinance, and elected officials hope this legacy will help build momentum in Oregon.
Several state Senators testified in support of the ordinance, after narrowly failing to pass a plastic bag ban at the state level earlier this year. If passed, the bill would have set a precedent for the nation. Last year Mayor Sam Adams promised to pass an ordinance if a statewide solution wasn't reached.
SB 536 would have banned plastic bags and placed a minimum price requirement on paper bags. Portland's ordinance places no charge on paper bags, but does not prohibit retailers from doing so. The ordinance will take effect on October 15, 2011. Currently 1.7 billion bags are distributed in the city.
Read more from a Resources Recycling article.