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Could Cleveland stop the plastic bag ban?

Posted at 10:34 PM, Nov 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-25 23:13:37-05

CLEVELAND — Cuyhaoga County Council voted about six months ago to ban single use plastic bags in grocery and retail stores starting in January, but now Cleveland could be opting out.

"A number of affected retailers came to me with their concerns of how this would affect their business," said Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley.

Kelley says the county's ban could hurt the already small profit margins for local grocery stores and he thinks the county is doing a poor job reminding folks about the change.

"There hasn't been community education, there hasn't been stakeholder buy in, there hasn't been a thoughtful implementation plan and a lot of people have kind of forgotten about it," said Kelley.

Monday night, an ordinance was introduced into Cleveland City Council that would hold off on the ban until an outside group comes in and tells the city how to best usher it in.

This proposed ordinance was met with opposition from fellow council members.

"People will readjust their habits over time and we have to think. We have a moral imperative to protect our environment and now is our time to do that," said councilmnan Matt Zone.

And local environmentalists are outraged.

"This plastic bag ban is just step one, literally, a baby step to get people to become conscious to their impact on the earth," said Lake Erie Water Keeper Stefanie Spear.

Cuyahoga County Councilwoman Sunny Simon sponsored this bag ban and put out a statement which reads in part:

"This measure is simply unnecessary. We're providing a six month grace period to ease the transition."

Simon went onto write, the council will be launching a countywide program that includes bag giveaways.

City Council will make their final decision December 2.

RELATED: Cuyahoga County Council passes plastic bag ban