Local businesses respond positively to plastic ban

by Dalton Carver

After moving forward in December with a stricter version of a plastic bag ban than originally discussed, some town council members took to the streets to poll businesses on their take on the ordinance. Reporting their findings at this month’s regular meeting Jan. 9, Councilor Robb Austin and Mayor John Clark found most were amenable to the change.
Between the two of them, Austin and Clark contacted about 40 businesses throughout Ridgway and found the majority were supportive of council’s decision to adoption the ban.
One of the larger concerns came from True Value hardware store, where employees told Clark they had about a six-month supply of plastic bags they’d prefer to run through. The store also raised the question whether Ziploc bags were considerable reusable and therefore exempt from the ban.
Ellen Hunter, council member, also brought up the issue of plastic bags used by any of the local marijuana dispensaries and if state regulation required the use of those child-proof bags. Clark said the dispensaries should already be using a solid plastic container that could be reusable.
Similarly to Clark, Austin received positive feedback on the ban.
“They thought there’s more than enough time to comply,” said Austin. “I didn’t run into anybody that said I don’t have enough time. The only negative comment I had is, ‘I’m concerned about the high cost of water, not this plastic thing’.”
One of Austin’s stops was the Family Dollar store, an anomaly in Ridgway in that it’s a franchise store. Although he said there was slight concern expressed, the store employees were more than willing to deal with it. An employee told the Plaindealer the store’s corporate office handles compliance with similar bans in other towns.
After hearing community feedback via Austin and Clark, Councilor Ninah Hunter said she felt...

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