Iowa City council to consider plastic bag ban - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa City council to consider plastic bag ban

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

The plastic bags littering Ralston Creek in downtown Iowa City are evidence of a global problem.

"These bags never go away," said Ann Christenson with the activist group calling itself 100 Grannies for a Livable Future.  "Fish and other wildlife, birds take these bits for food, eat them, and then die."

Christenson is part of a push to ban these plastic grocery bags.

The group is also planning on lobbying the surrounding area.

"If plastics such as these bags were done away with, we certainly would have a beginning of cleaning up our oceans and waterways," Christenson said. 

City leaders say it's important to educate people on the alternative to plastic bags- like reusable tote bags- and the recycling opportunities that do exist.

Some question whether an all out ban is the right fit for the community.

"We feel good about our community's ability to develop alternatives to regulatory solutions- that's really the last step in a process," said Rick Fosse, Iowa City's public works director.

The New Pioneer Food Co-op in Iowa City and Coralville have been encouraging shoppers to use more eco-friendly alternatives for several years.

The co-op reports its had success in changing behavior without doing away with plastic bags altogether.

"The New Pioneer Food Co-op is really quite eco-aware. So we've fostered this and they've caught right on," said Theresa Carbrey, education coordinator for the food co-op. 

Tuesday night the city council will take up the issue at a work session before the formal meeting.

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