Proposal to charge fee on plastic bag usage in Dubuque - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Proposal to charge fee on plastic bag usage in Dubuque

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Some Loras College students want the city of Dubuque to reduce using plastic bags, the kind used at grocery stores.

"So, the plastic bags get into waterways, animals consume them which generally causes death because they can't consume food after that," said student Morgan Dolan. 

They say it's an environmental issue, not just for wildlife, but for everyone. "Plastic is obviously a pollutant that we see to be a great problem," added Abigail Kirchner. 

The students are recommending several options to the city council, from completely banning plastic bags, to charging a fee for using them. The fee isn't much. "Somewhere between five and ten cents, we're gonna leave that up to the city to decide," mentioned Christine McDonald. 

In their proposal, the fee would only apply to larger stores, such as Hy-Vee and Target, not mom and pop shops. However in the past, this idea not received too well. "The ban  wasn't met with a lot of praise from a lot of businesses, but we're hoping that since this isn't taking anything away from people and they'll still have the option to take plastic bags, that people will take it better and see what we're trying to do," said Dolan.

This time around, they're hoping for a compromise, they say, for the sake of the city and the Mississippi River. 

In their proposal, the fee would not apply to the elderly and people on food stamps. A portion of the money raised would go to the grocery stores...the rest to the city

This will be heard at Monday night's city council meeting, as an action item. 

Currently, California bans the use of plastic bags, and people in Washington D.C. are charged a fee for them. At last check, Chicago lawmakers are looking into similar policies.

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