Hood River mayor convenes Aug. 17 summit on possible ban of plastic bags

The community is invited to join a discussion, convened by Mayor Paul Blackburn, about reducing consumption of single-use plastic carry out bags by barring their use in Hood River County retail stores and encouraging use of reuseable carry out bags made with other materials.

The “Plastic Bag Summit” will be at 10 a.m. on Aug. 17 at the Hood River Library’s Jeanne Marie Gaulke Meeting Room. Local merchants have been invited to participate in the summit.

The city is considering using ordinances modeled after other cities in Oregon.

As part of the summit, a group of May Street Elementary students will present information about a proposed ordinance banning single-use bags. Last year, the youngsters started the "Earth Bag Initiative" that has expanded to three stores in Hood River: Safeway and Walmart in addition to the first location, Rosauers.

Providence Hood River Memorial hospital recently donated several hundred bags to the cause; they have been placed in the barrels for anyone to take and reuse.

Two barrels are located at entrances and exits of all three stores, with signs encouraging people to use the bags, return them and to donate any new or used bags collecting at their home or business.

“The kids are very grateful to these stores,” said parent Carol Adams. “The kids want to kindly remind the public that these barrels are not garbage cans as they sometimes find trash deposited in them,” Adams said.

If people would like to donate new bags they can easily be purchased at the grocery stores for a dollar and placed in the bins.

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