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Plastic bag ban moves to 3rd reading

By a vote of 4-1, the Jackson Town Council has approved second reading of a new ordinance that would prohibit the use of disposable plastic bags in the community. It will go to a final reading December 17. If approved, it would take effect on April 15, 2019.

The measure is part of an effort to meet the council’s goal of diverting 60 percent of the town’s solid waste away from landfills. The town and county comprehensive plan set a goal of minimizing the amount of waste it directs to landfills as “zero” by increasing recycling and composting. It is intended to promote the use of reusable, but not plastic, bags.

The ban would exempt bags used to package bulk produce, candy, meat, fish, potted plants, bakery goods and a few other items.

The law would also create a waste reduction fee of 20 cents, to be paid by each consumer making a purchase from a grocer or retailer. That part of the law would take effect on April 15 for large grocers and retail stores and November 1, 2019 for smaller retail stores. Under the law, the retailer would keep 10 cents and the remaining 10 cents would be paid to the town on a quarterly basis to help pay for solid waste and recycling.

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