Albuquerque city councilors work to amend loophole in plastic bag ban | KOB 4

Albuquerque city councilors work to amend loophole in plastic bag ban

Ryan Laughlin
Created: March 08, 2020 10:08 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— Albuquerque city councilors are working to close a loophole in the plastic bag ban that went into effect this year.

The bag ban tried to eliminate single use plastic, but the law says plastic bags that are 2.25 mil thick—or 2.25 thousandths of an inch—would be considered reusable.

"And a few retailers have tried to get a little smart. They came back with what they say are reusable plastic bags,” said City Council President Pat Davis.

Businesses like Walmart have replaced their old thin plastic bags with thicker plastic bags that customers can purchase for 10 cents.

"The whole point of this is to get rid of plastic bags, not take a bag that stays for a million years and trade it in for one that stays for three million—that defeats the whole point,” Davis said.

City leaders are working to amend the law to get rid of the thicker plastic bags.

"We want retailers and customers to get used to this. They're trying out new ideas, but if they keep bringing back new plastic bags, we're going to keep banning them and eventually they'll get the message,” Davis said.

Councilman Davis said it is ultimately up to Mayor Keller to decide when the thicker plastic bags will go, but he anticipates the city will try to ban more bags this summer.

"Running a city is not only about picking up, about police cars and ambulances and pot holes. Look, it's about how we take care of our environment,” Davis said. “We inherited our city from another generation. We're going to pass one along too and we want to do better —give the next generation a better city."

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