The City of Tillamook and Tillamook County are sponsoring a joint workshop on the impact of single use plastics and the possible adoption of an ordinance banning single use plastic bags in the city and county. The workshop will be January 22, 6 pm at 2311 3rd St. (911 Center). Public testimony will not be taken at this meeting. If the city and county decide to proceed to an ordinance a public hearing will be scheduled.
Featured presenters at the workshop will be former Commissioner Tim Josi, international expert on plastics and Nehalem resident Megan Ponder, Tillamook County Solid Waste program manager Dave McCall, City Sanitary Service owner Bobby Poppe, and Tillamook County Master Recycler Beverly Stein.
If the county and city decide to consider an ordinance banning single use plastic bags they will have a number of decisions to make regarding the contents of the ordinance. A key issue they will need to decide is which businesses, if any, should be required to charge for paper bags to encourage use of reusable bags. The Northwest Grocery Association representing Safeway and Fred Meyer is supportive of banning single use plastic bags if at least large businesses are required to charge for paper bags. The city and county leaders would also have to consider if they want to exempt certain types of bag uses from the ordinance. Some jurisdictions have exempted produce bags, bags for bait and fresh seafood and/or takeout food.
Many cities have adopted plastic bag bans. In Tillamook County, Manzanita adopted an ordinance in September 2017. In 2018, Bay City and Wheeler passed ordinances, and Rockaway and Garibaldi are in the process of considering such ordinances. In Oregon, Portland, Eugene, Corvallis, Ashland, Forest Grove, Salem, Hillsboro, Lake Oswego, Hood River, Silverton and McMinnville have passed single use plastic bag bans. No county in Oregon has adopted a single use plastic ban ordinance. Tillamook County would be the first.