Logan City ordinance proposes ban on disposable plastic bags

“Cache Valley has a problem. It’s a trash problem,” according to Logan City Council member Herm Olsen and he’s hoping to tackle the issue, one bag at a time.

Olsen is specifically referring to disposable plastic bags. He says bags from the Logan area end up blowing all over the valley, “making its greatest impact in the Clarkston, Newton, Trenton area.”

“In an effort to clean up the mess we are making across the valley,” Olsen is proposing that Logan City prohibit the retail distribution of single use plastic bags. Those are the bags you would typically get at grocery and convenience stores.

Olsen introduced the ordinance during the December 18th Logan City Council meeting.

In part, the ordinance states the City of Logan desires to protect the environment, public health, and the economy. In addition, disposable single use plastic bags increase litter, and adversely impact wildlife, water quality and landfill operations.

“The single use plastic bags are not only a visual problem,” Olsen said, “because they are plastic, they just don’t disintegrate. They break down into what are called micro-beads and can then be ingested by fish, birds, animals and make their way into our own food chain.” Olsen emphasized, “They’re a bit of a danger and a big mess.”

The ordinance maintains alternatives to disposable plastic bags are readily available that are biodegradable, recyclable or reusable.

However, alternatives come at a price and he admits some merchants are concerned about the potential costs if the proposal is enacted.

“Change is never easy,” admits Olsen.  “A lot of businesses have recognized for years that this is a problem. We just need to get out in front of it and be a leader for our community.”

If the ordinance passes, violators of the ban could be liable for a civil penalty: a fine not exceeding $250 for the first violation following a written warning within a one-year period. The fine increases after a second violation.

A number of city council members agreed with the general proposal of banning single use bags, but are looking for more clarification before any future action is taken.

Many would also like to see Cache County and other cities in the valley consider a similar proposal.

A public hearing on the ordinance will be set at a future date.

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7 Comments

  • Tunac December 19, 2018 at 3:23 pm Reply

    Here is the same article from October 5th.
    https://www.hjnews.com/news/government/logan-councilman-wants-to-ban-plastic-bags-before-year-s/article_aedf9ab6-c205-502b-8883-82ed51e69bf1.html
    Way to be on top of things.

  • Angela December 19, 2018 at 6:12 pm Reply

    Single use bags are a staple. You can’t simply get rid of them. Also need clarification on what “single use bags” entails. Grocery bags are used as trash bags to help family’s save a few needed dollars. If trash bags are included in the ban, what is going to happen for family trash needs. Grocery bags and smaller single use bags are used to clean up animal fecies. Get rid of single use bags and dog crap will be left everywhere. It might seem like a simple thing to ban a plastic item to keep it out of the land fills and away from animals but it will have a huge chain reaction that could leave our environment worse. Don’t make any hasty decisions. Look at things from every possible angle.

  • Stephanie Weight December 19, 2018 at 6:46 pm Reply

    There are places outside of Logan to shop as well as online stores. I live outside of Logan city but my garage still goes to Logan Landfill. This doesn’t help the problem and will reduce the city income by people like me that will shop elsewhere. I reuse these bags to put recycle in instead of the garage so now I will put those items in the trash which will increase the volume of garage Logan city has to move which increases their cost to dispose of it. Seems like there are better options. I don’t want to live in a California. Someone needs to think this through a little better.

  • Alec December 19, 2018 at 7:50 pm Reply

    Hmmm, does anyone remember when this problem didn’t exist? It wasn’t that long ago that the option was… paper or the bag you brought. We still had cars, and airplanes, and life went on. Legislation often is created for a human failing, and here it is personal responsibility. Herm and the other city council members are not on the fringe here. Cache valley moved towards recycling to divert usable materials from the landfill and extend it’s lifespan saving millions. This proposal is similar, but has the added benefit of beautifying OUR valley and protecting fish and wildlife. All these points sound christian to me, and it is that time of year. Or do we celebrate Santa, and get those bags?

  • Ben Loss December 19, 2018 at 8:56 pm Reply

    I have heard the State of California tried this and ended up getting sued and having it overturned.

  • David December 20, 2018 at 1:37 pm Reply

    While the garbage is definitely a problem, like others I tend to find plastic grocery bags useful for reuse in a few different ways. How about instead we charge per plastic bag used at the register as a tax and use the proceeds to pay for cleanup efforts?

  • K. Hyden January 7, 2019 at 3:09 am Reply

    A lot of people on here are saying, “but we refuse them! We put trash and animal waste in them.” Great! By putting garbage and waste into these bags you ensure that the plastic will protect and preserve that stuff for decades to come, long after you and your pet are dead.
    The plastic does not break down back into it’s natural elements. There are options put there that are environmentally healthy, like compostable pet waste bags, paper bags and just allowing your garbage can to be what it is with out putting a liner in it.
    The problem with almost any excuse made is that it really comes across as just that.. an excuse because you don’t to be inconvenienced by having to find another way to do things. So, you’d rather keep wrapping your garbage up and letting it get saved in all those single use bags and continue trashing the areas outside of Logan that are more affected by it than find a better way to be a good citizen of the earth.

    We have to start somewhere. County wide would be nice, but that is asking a lot. And the argument that Logan would lose $ because people would go out of their way to shop somewhere that allows plastic bags… there are people who would come to Logan stores to shop because they want to support this! I live outside Logan, and if my Lee’s or my Macey’s were still offering the bags, I’d shop at the ones in town. We need a leader, Logan City. And hopefully the other townships or chains stores will follow suit.

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