City of Wasilla considers plastic bag ban

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Alaskans see plastic bags on just about every trip to the grocery store.

Shoppers like Ann Block, of Wasilla, recycle them regularly.

"I take them to the thrift store, I use them for other things, picking up dog poo," Block said.

Sometimes the bags end up where they shouldn't be.

The City of Wasilla is now considering banning plastic bags.

The effort comes after the Mat-Su Borough introduced a plastic bag tax that would, if passed, charge $0.10 a bag for retailers earning over $1 million in annual gross sales.

The borough has since postponed action on the ordinance until December 5.

Bert Cottle, Mayor of Wasilla, said a majority of community members at a Monday city council meeting expressed that they'd rather ban the bags to avoid a tax.

"The goal is not to drive up the price of doing business in Wasilla, the goal is not to have anymore taxes," Cottle said.

Cottle said there are around 140 businesses in Wasilla that earn $1 million or more in gross sales yearly, and the city is gathering input from retailers.

"Overwhelmingly, they've all said if you're gonna do it, give us a couple months to make the adjustment and if we're gonna go from one type of carry-out bag to another we need time to get them on the shelves and get them ordered and give us time to either use up or dispose of our old ones," Cottle said.

Cottle said the city is also considering a buy-back plan from retailers with extra bags.

An ordinance to ban plastic bags in Wasilla is expected to be introduced at the next city council meeting September 25, where the public will also have a chance to weigh in.

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