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Previous story Oregon Senate committee advances plastic bag ban Next story

Published on Saturday April 23, 2011 - 5:45 AM
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An Oregon Senate committee has advanced a bill that would make Oregon the first state to ban single-use plastic grocery bags.

The committee voted 3-2 along party lines Thursday to send the measure to the Senate floor.

The bill sponsored by Sen. Mark Hass of Beaverton is aimed at encouraging the use of reusable shopping bags. Stores would be required to charge at least 5 cents for disposable paper bags.

Proponents say the roughly 1 billion plastic bags used every year in Oregon gum up recycling machines and pollute roads, beaches and waterways.

A spokeswoman for a plastic bag recycling company says Oregon needs to beef up recycling efforts, not pursue a partisan ban that imposes fees on shoppers and fines on retailers that don't comply.