A petition to ban plastic bags, plastic straws and styrofoam is on the Los Alamos County Council agenda Tuesday evening. Courtesy image
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Forty two people have signed a petition asking the Los Alamos County Council to ban the use and distribution of plastic bags plastic straws and Styrofoam containers.
The petition was submitted June 18 by local resident Ann LePage and as provided for in the County Code has been placed on the agenda for the next regular meeting of the Council which is Tuesday, July 9 in Council Chambers at the Municipal Building.
The County Code only requires that a petition be signed by five or more qualified voters of the County and presented to the County Clerk at least 10 days prior to the meeting. The Council can acknowledge and discuss the petition and possibly take action on it.
In April 2015, Mark Jones of the Sierra Club asked the Council to enact an ordinance prohibiting retail establishments from distributing single-use plastic carryout bags to customers and mandating a 10 cents fee on paper bags to be collected by local merchants.
It should be noted that a citizen petition was previously submitted in 2015 requesting that “Council pass an ordinance prohibiting retail establishments from distributing single-use plastic carryout bags to their customers and mandating a $0.10 fee on paper bags to be collected and retained by the merchant.” Attachment B is the staff report and other materials associated with that petition when the final discussion and action was taken by Council in August 2015.
At that time, the Council directed the Environmental Sustainability Committee to hold two public meetings. The issue was also placed on the County’s online Open Forum. More than 80 percent of respondents opposed a ban on the plastic bags and 72 percent opposed reducing their distribution.