City of Dubuque drafting ordinance on plastic bag ban - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

City of Dubuque drafting ordinance on plastic bag ban

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The city of Dubuque is looking into banning plastic sacks -- those single use bags many shoppers get from the store.

This comes after a group of Loras College students proposed ways to reduce using them. "We wanted this initially, but then we realized we had to compromise so when we first went to city council we started with the fee, but coming now to city council they proposed the ban themselves which is more than what we expected," said Abigail Kirchner.

They say it's an environmental issue."They just end up in the environment to harm animals and because it's the food chain it ends up affecting us in the end, so it affects everything around us, including ourselves," said Morgan Dolan.

Experts say it's a trash problem. At the landfill in Dubuque, bags are blowing everywhere. Every year more than 400 tons are plastic bags. 

To help make the city more environmentally friendly, staffers are drafting an ordinance that would ban them.

Other cities have implemented similar things. Most recently Chicago charging a seven cent tax for paper and plastic bags.

As for New York City, their five cent fee was supposed to take affect next week, but state lawmakers have postponed it. 

They say its a financial burden on the average family. 

Dubuque won't be able to charge a tax on plastic bags because it's not authorized by state law, and charging a fee would be a complicated process.

As for what alternatives shoppers could use if plastic bags are banned, those are either reusable bags or paper bags.

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