Banning bags might have been unsuccessful in California, but not so in Telluride, Jeb’s hometown. Setting a precedent for other resort towns, and hopefully the rest of the country, today Telluride’s Town Council voted 5-2 to ban single-use plastic bags from retail and grocery stores by January 2011.
Telluride is not the first town to ban plastic. Nine months ago, our nation’s capital imposed a five-cent tax on plastic grocery bags. A recent Wall Street Journal article described a “surprising” turn-about in people’s behavior. Quick adoption of re-usable shoppers.
A fee will be instituted for paper bags, but the real purpose of the ordinance is to instill the habit in shoppers to carry their own bags. And to go even farther. According to environmental activist David Allen, the bag ban is “merely low-hanging fruit.” Single-use plastic bags are just the beginning. “This is a means to start consciousness about our own personal consumption,” Allen said.
In the tourist-based economy of this resort town, several merchants objected, concerned about their ability to provide the level of service their customers expect. Like a bag for goods they’ve purchased.
But Galena Gleason, representing Telluride local stores Bootdoctors and Paragon Sports, says that these retailers fully support the regulation. They already plan to provide reusable shopping bags with every purchase over $20, and offer them at cost for smaller purchases.
Scott McQuaid, from the Telluride Tourism Board, has no official position either way. But, addressing the town council, he said, “The state of Colorado is watching this decision, so are other resorts, other towns. This is an opportunity for Telluride to lead the way.”
Read about other places leading the way.
Interested in getting your town bag-free? For more information, contact David Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org.