By Hannah Jones • Intern • 

Plastic , be gone, city proclaims

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If it's the City Councils job to protect the city of McMinnville Ms Drabkin why don't we start with the two most important things I can think of. Educating our children and getting the criminals and drug dealers off the street. Banning plastic bags is the least of our worry's right at this time.

Sally G

I'm delighted with this decision. Now I have to remember to keep my cloth bags in the car! Losing a few cents will probably do it.

And while we're at it, let's also educate our kids about taking better care of our earth, oceans, and skies than we have done.


I use those bags for soooo many things. Now I am going to have to buy stacks of them from Cash-n-Carry, or...what will I do? ****** Sally G, you could have been doing that your whole life. Why do you want to force the rest of us to do that?


I think Nazi-Germany started by banning square restaurant table corners. They made a law that all the corners has to be round. The restaurant owners apparently weren't capable of choosing their own table shapes. ***** By the way, two of our liberal commissioners have granted county money to that Zero-Waste group. Do you know what for? To hire people to stand around the Yamhill County fairgrounds in 2016 100 feet from several designated trash-cans to see (excuse me "study") what people throw in them. I'm not making this up. We were being spied on collectively at the fairgrounds with County tax funds to see what we threw away.


Oh, well. There's always Newberg or Salem for shopping.


Ah, look at all the whiners, saying they will go to Newberg or Salem to shop because they can’t have their environmentaly unfriendly plastic bags. Of course they won’t. Perhaps rather then sounding like ignorant hicks, they actually spend some time to educate themselves. I know, a lot to ask, but one could always dream.


Gee Denise, are you being a WHINER because someone actually voiced an opinion different from yours?

As a point of constructive criticism, You might want educate yourself on spelling ‘en·vi·ron·men·tal·ly’ and the grammatically correct use of ‘then’ as opposed to ‘than’ before criticizing others education...
"I know, a lot to ask, but one could always dream."


When customers bring their own containers to the grocery store, I believe they also should bag them. Many individual cloth bags look filthy and stained. Checkers shouldn't have to touch them.

Bill B

We are becoming more like Californians everyday! Appears we are followers.


Denise: "... Perhaps rather then sounding like ignorant hicks ..."

Than. The word you wanted is "than." Not knowing the difference makes one appear to be an ignorant hick.


Now at Albertsons the first thing they do if you do not have a bag is ring up five cents charge for a paper bag which cost them a fraction of a penny. They are making some serious money. And when I said I didn't want or need a bag for my two items. They said it's already rung up and they handed me a bag. I used to get something for free. Darn, I liked getting it for free. Now Albertsons is making some money on what they used to give away free. They may like this new ordinance.

Mac Native 66

If you think about it, those reusable bags are not made of cotton fabric. They are made of polyester, which is plastic.


Of course, there is a mandate to charge for the grocery bag which used to be free, thanks to our stupid council members. But, I see nothing written to prevent the clerk from taking a nickel each per bag from a nearby jar and passing it back to the poor consumer. How about it, retailers?


Yes, like most of you.. used these bags to line sm. trash cans, put sandwiches in, put dog doo in, ect..Now of course we'll be 'buying' something made of plastic to take their place (duh). ..But then again..I see that Portland is doing this..


Maybe folks would have been happier if the Council had voted in an ordinance canceling trash pickup to addresses with plastic bags in their collection bin?
The strong, lightweight plastic bags retailers used are murder on the landfills and on recycling operations. They are nearly impossible to contain, they do not degrade, they are very, very expensive to sort and remove from the waste stream, and they damage equipment costing operators in equipment downtime and repairs. Our city has to partner with its waste and recycling operators to provide a means of keeping our city clean, servicing our citizens, protecting the environment, and planning for the long term. These lightweight, high strength plastic bags are a relatively new introduction and as their use has grown and accumulation in waste streams and landfills has exploded over the years so have the resulting problems.
I don't think there is any way to deal with those problems that does not adversely impact somebody. We might double our waste utility rates to pay for the costs of mitigation. But such increases could be devastating to low income citizens. Shifting costs does not make the costs disappear. We must all be mindful of that.


Frankly, I'm tired of taking all the flak for wrecking this planet. What my contemporaries inherited was nothing to celebrate--our parents, termed the Greatest Generation, routinely tossed their cigarette butts anywhere and everywhere, including beaches and scenic areas; they hurled metal cans at Burma-Shave signs and other targets; they burned trash in incinerators; they drove behemoths with V8 engines and threw crap out the windows. I refuse to wear the hair shirt for what I didn't do.


I was talking to a cashier at winco today and the interesting thing they leave out of this story is the city is requiring them to charge the nickle a bag and the city is getting the money.Where is that going?


Roth's hands out reusable bags free. Nice folks.

Bill B

Hey Treehouse, do some reading. Plastic bags are not permitted by Recology to be recycled. In the landfill they are no worse than the other crap being thrown away. Its not the job of city council to be the environmental lords or to protect the citizenry. They are suppose to represent their constituents and clearly that did not happen here.

There appears to be a lot of misinformation on this stream. Hope these facts help to clear that up.

1. Every big box store and most of the smaller ones were surveyed countless times about this impending change to bag usage. There was zero opposition.
2. The council took a year to decide this ordinance and received testimony on numerous occasions. Their vote was unanimous based on how the public and businesses commented and testified.
3. Both McMinnville recycling entities... Recology and Waste Management are in favor of the Bag It Better Ordinance. It saves them countless man hours chasing bags at their facilities and along the roads. It prevents damage and time loss in their sorting lines.
4. The County did give Zero Waste McMinnville $5,000 to start a recycling facility at the county fairgrounds but because the overall cost was so much more Zero Waste returned the money to the County. No one is spying on Fair participants or initiating a Nazi outlier group at the fair. There is zero recycling at the fair and they send over 7 tons of trash to the dump after each Fair. Zero Waste is helping them to start a recycling program.
5. The 5 cent cost of the bags is not returned to the city. It is used by each business to offset cost of the bags in their stores. The 5 cent fee is required at all stores so that small stores don't have to lose money giving bags away trying to compete with large stores that have bigger margins to give bags away.
6. Roth' gives re-usable bags away if you spend more than $50.
7. You can pick up recycled plastic bags in the bins in front of many stores to use for pet waste and wastebaskets. A little ingenuity will go along way in finding a source for those household bags.
8. The entire state of California and 4 other Oregon cities have bag ordnances. There is a movement afoot to ban bags along the coast as the sandy beaches are carpeted with them. It's a proven fact bag bans greatly reduce road litter.


Ramsey McPhillips

9. Zero Waste McMinnville was out front most of the big stores on rollout day and the consumer response was overwhelmingly positive. Frankly, it was uneventful. There was great communication to the public of the bag usage change. There will be a transition period but given the stores, haulers, City and majority of city residents are accepting the change it should be relatively painless and beneficial.
10. Zero Waste McMinnville meets the first 2 Mondays of each month at 5:30 at the library should anyone like to join them in making McMinnville the first city in Oregon to become Zero Waste by 2024.

Ramsey McPhillips

Bill B

Ramsey McPhillips, what have you been smoking? I have yet to find anyone in favor of this dictum!

Sal Peralta

I feel bad for the cashiers. Some people are not handling it very well. When did we become such wimps? It's such a minor inconvenience to bring your own bag, and every store in I've been to (Roths, WinCo, Grocery Outlet) will still give you credit for bringing your own bags in.


Are all major stores in town complying? We have a tip that one of the largest has reneged, based on customer blowback, and are looking into it. If anyone has first-hand knowledge of such, please let us know. You can reach me at 503-687-1226.
Steve Bagwell
Managing Editor


I shopped at Wilco yesterday and the cashier told me she had no plastic bags, but offered a really nice reusable "Wilco" bag for $1.29. Now I have another really nice and big reusable bag that I will take with me when shopping....not just at Wilco, but other retailers as well. Wilco gets free advertising in the process. It sure seems like a win-win to me.


There's always a first step in any improvements to our environment. Can you imagine how much backlash there was when the bottle bill was first introduced? How much work and cost it was for the stores to get that little gem accomplished?

Whoever is giving the cashiers a hard time, should be ashamed of themselves, too. They're complying like they're supposed to.

In my opinion, getting rid of plastic water bottles should be the next step in the goal of zero waste.

Brad M

Because of this I am getting all of my food from road kill and my water from the rain. That will show them!


2 times this weekend I was looked at and treated like a criminal because I forgot my plastic 2 different stores.

Bill B

I stand corrected. Apparently there are a few that think this is a good idea. Truly if you are going to ban something, how about styrofoam. It's filling up the landfills more quickly than anything else and will never go away.


I will be doing most of my shopping out of town where I can have a means of getting my things into the car and my home. This is about the most idiotic thing the city could do. We have a lot more serious problems than a few stray bags!

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