plastic bag ban

Berett Wilber/KUCB

Starting next year, Unalaska retailers won't be allowed to distribute single-use plastic bags to their customers. If they do, they'll be hit with $100 fines each time.

The City Council passed the bag ban unanimously Tuesday night after about six months of discussion and overwhelming public support.

Councilor James Fitch said it'll help reduce the amount of plastic littering local beaches and polluting the ocean.

Berett Wilber/KUCB

The Unalaska City Council unanimously advanced an ordinance on Tuesday that would ban single-use plastic bags.

Under the proposed legislation, businesses would receive $100 fines for providing a customer with a disposable shopping bag, starting Jan. 1.

 

While Vice Mayor Dennis Robinson has proposed buying out stores’ leftover bags, the council is still debating how it will let retailers handle their existing inventory.

 

The ordinance is slated for a second and final reading on Aug. 14.

Berett Wilber/KUCB

 

City Councilors and community members expressed overwhelming support Tuesday night for an ordinance that would ban single-use plastic bags in Unalaska.

As it stands, the proposed ordinance would put the burden on retailers.

 

Berett Wilber/KUCB

Unalaska has taken its first official step toward banning plastic bags.

On Tuesday, the City Council tasked the city manager with developing an ordinance to prohibit the flimsy, disposable bags used at grocery stores.

Councilors issued the directive unanimously after hearing from Unalaska resident Laresa Syverson.

"It’s not that a plastic bag ban is going to solve all our problems," said Syverson. "But it will help with the way we depend on plastic."

Berett Wilber/KUCB

 

 

Some Unalaskans want the city to ban single use plastic bags. Twenty-five residents met last week to strategize on how best to make their case to the city.

Mary Heimes says for a community that relies on the ocean, eliminating the bags should be a no brainer.

“You know we pull a lot of money out of the ocean in this community and we have a social responsibility to take care of the environment,” Heimes said.