Moab considers a ban on plastic bags

Photo: zeevveez / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

MOAB, Utah — This tourism hot spot is contemplating banning plastic bags.

At its Tuesday meeting, the Moab City Council will vote on whether to implement a prohibition on single-use plastic bags effective 2019.

“They don’t recycle well, they don’t biodegrade well, they are detrimental to our environment, to our landscape, to our waterways, to our wildlife,” Moab City Councilwoman Tawny Knutson Boyd said in an interview Monday with FOX 13. “They just look trashy when they blow around the desert.”

The bill has exemptions, including bags for dry cleaning, prescription drugs, produce or meats or heavier bags 2.25 ml thick. Paper bags would also be an option.

Businesses in the town were largely supportive of it, said Knutson Boyd. She also believed tourists would not have a problem with it, noting that a lot of foreign visitors come from places with their own bag bans.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a big burden on anybody,” she said.

If it passes, Moab would be the second city in Utah to implement a ban. Park City passed one last year.

Sen. Jani Iwamoto, D-Salt Lake City, proposed a bill earlier this year in the Utah State Legislature to charge a fee for single-use plastic or paper bags in an effort to help clogged landfills. It was killed by her Republican colleagues, and triggered a counter-bill to ban any bag bans. However, that bill also failed to pass amid cries of stepping on “local control.”

Sen. Iwamoto told FOX 13 recently she planned to try to bring back her bill in the 2019 legislative session.