Dear Friends of Bag It Corvallis,
On behalf of the Sierra Club’s Marys Peak Group, I would like to bring your attention to the City Staff’s Final Report on the “Process for Addressing Single-Use Plastic Bags.” The City will submit their Report at the Administrative Services Committee meeting next Wednesday, May 9 at 4 p.m. where you have the opportunity to comment.
The City’s recommendation is that the City Council not pursue an ordinance of any kind, but instead direct staff to look to our community partners to achieve the Council's goal. In lieu of an ordinance they will “speak with the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition, specifically the Waste and Education Action Teams, about what grass-roots actions they could pursue to encourage retailers to reduce or eliminate the use of single-use plastic bags.”
City Staff also drafted an ordinance (see Attachment I in the Final Report). The ordinance lacks enforcement and they acknowledge that it “therefore is of questionable value.”
In the City’s documents the environmental, policy, or cost-saving reasons that explain the need for an ordinance is not mentioned. On April 4, 2011, the City Council adopted “Resolution 2011-06,” in support of a state-wide plastic bag bill, which listed policy and environmental reasons for the resolution and for a possible future ordinance. The Sierra Club’s ordinance “Encouraging Reusable Bags and Prohibiting The Use Of Single-Use Plastic Carryout Bags” submitted November 2011 also included reasons why an ordinance was needed. This important information should have been included in the City’s information and draft ordinance.
Corvallis is a green community, and has won many awards for this. City of Corvallis recently received Corvallis Tourism's Gaea Award, which recognizes an entity who demonstrates excellence in ecological stewardship required for sustainable tourism; Corvallis is cited as the #1 city in America for green buildings per capita; Corvallis was voted one of Sunset Magazine's favorite eco-friendly small towns. The City of Corvallis is presented with the opportunity to live up to its reputation. Single-use disposable plastic checkout bags are not sustainable and we have the opportunity of following Portland’s lead in banning them.
Because of your interest in maintaining Corvallis’s leadership in sustainability, please join us in commenting on this small but important sustainability goal. The Administrative Services Committee will make a decision on the City’s proposed ordinance on Wednesday, May 9 at 4 p.m. at the Madison Avenue Meeting Room (500 SW Madison, across from City Hall).
Marys Peak Group – Sierra Club