Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags in Bend

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Following in the footsteps of other cities in Oregon and across America as well as the globe, it's time for Bend to ban single-use plastic bags.  Why should Bend give up the availability of these bags, you ask?  For many reasons...

  • These bags are polluting our lakes, rivers, and land.  Because they are so lightweight, they can travel long distances by wind and water littering our landscape and floating in waterways.
  • Plastic bags are made from non-renewable resources. The majority of plastic bags are made of a material produced from petroleum and natural gas both of which are non-renewable fossil fuel-based resources.  Using our non-renewable resources to make these bags seems very short-sighted considering that each plastic bag is typically used for just 12 minutes.
  • Petroleum-based plastic bags never truly degrade.  What does occur is that when out in the environment, the plastic breaks up into tiny little pieces that end up in water sources and are consumed by wildlife. 
  • Plastic bags are harmful to wildlife and marine life.  Not only do animals get entangled in the bags but they also mistake the bags and their associated plastic pieces as food.  The consumed plastic then leads to health issues and even  death.
  • Plastic bags are harmful to human health.  When marine organisms consume plastics, the chemicals in the plastic can make their way through the ocean’s food chain eventually reaching humans who eat seafood.
  • These bags are not easy to recycle.  Most recycling facilities do not accept them since they don't have the capacity to recycle them.  As a result, the actual recycling rate for plastic bags is low.

Given that so many other towns, cities and municipalities have already made the switch to reusable shopping bags and/or paper bags it should be easy for the people of Bend to make the same adjustment and unbag Bend.