AVON — An ordinance banning plastic bags in Avon cleared its first hurdle Tuesday en route to a May 1, 2018, roll out.
The ban applies to all retailers in town who — if the ordinance passes on second reading Sept. 26 — will have to use paper bags and charge customers 10 cents apiece for them. Those retailers will then be able to keep the profits on those bags.
The Town Council allowed comment on the first reading of the ordinance Tuesday and heard from community members both for and against the bag ban. The vote on the issue was 6-1, with council member Megan Burch opposing.
A common theme discussed among the members of the council in support of the ban was the town of Vail’s ability to reduce the millions of bags being distributed by Safeway and City Market using a similar ordinance, along with success in other towns that have enacted bag-banning measures.
“There’s not a great outcome in terms of paper versus plastic,” said council member Scott Prince. “But the outcome is a significant reduction in bags. … It’s a substantial impact, and I think it’s just helping change consumers’ behavior.”
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Council member Matt Gennett said he felt he had a moral obligation to vote in favor of the ban.
“We are in a position of power … and I think this is one of the most basic forms of responsible leadership we could take,” Gennett said. “(Plastic bags) are the worst things that are out there, in terms of things that we can fix.”
Burch said she would rather put fees on both paper and plastic and let the consumer choose.
“Paper bags are not good for the environment,” Burch said. “It does eventually…
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