Hillsboro stores have less than a month to stop offering single use plastic bags, thanks to a policy passed by city council last November.
The policy was initially spearheaded by the Youth Advisory Council (YAC), a group of high school students selected to learn about and participate in city government. As of June 1 stores cannot offer single-use plastic bags. Paper bags will be available for five cents, though retailers with fewer than 10 employees are not required to charge the five cent fee, and also do not have to implement the policy until January 1, 2020.
City councillors were, during discussions, concerned the five cent fee would negatively impact low-income residents. A compromise means SNAP and WIC customers will see the fee waived.
So what happens if stores keep offering plastic bags? Not much, initially. From the city’s outline of the policy:
After the ordinance takes effect, if a store continues to offer plastic bags, the City will offer outreach materials, information, and advice to eliminate plastic bags. If a store continues thereafter to offer plastic bags, the City will issue a warning. Continued noncompliance may result in a civic infraction as provided in the Hillsboro Municipal Code, Chapter 1.08.
So stores will get a little more time to comply, but for the most part you won’t be seeing plastic bags in stores anymore.
- City Q&A about the policy.
- City Council is overwhelmingly likely to ban plastic bags Justin Pot/Hillsboro Signal. Outlines some of the politics behind this decision.
- Hillsboro City Council approves ban on plastic bags Geoff Pursinger/Hillsboro Tribune
- City Council approves YAC recommendation to restrict single-use plastic bags. City press release published shortly after the policy passed.