Town leaders move to eradicate plastic bag use and encourage BYOB

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – As daily news reports of the growing Great Pacific Garbage Patch haunt the headlines, a ban on plastics bags has suddenly become an easier sell. Easier than it was in Jackson in 2011.

Saying it is something the town council should have done seven years ago when they first discussed it, Don Frank said he was ready to make Jackson a BYOB community—Bring Your Own Bag—by banning single use plastic bags and imposing a fee on paper bags.

“Unfortunately, we have become a convenience and consumption society,” Frank said at Monday afternoon’s town workshop. “We have not only a responsibility but a requirement to be leaders. Leaders lead by action, and this is long overdue.”

Town staff spoke in support of an initiative to curtail the use of plastics like bags and straws, especially as its aligns with the town’s Zero Waste Initiative resolution.

Councilman Jim Stanford said it was a good first step and something that should be fairly easy to implement. Other municipalities have done it, California imposed a statewide ban on plastic bags and New York State is mulling the same.

Mayor Pete Muldoon called it a “no-brainer, especially for a community considering itself a leader in conservation.”

The council unanimously approved a motion to direct staff bring back recommendations for a possible plastic bag ban and fee for paper bags. Would the ban include straws as well? Who would it target—grocery stores only to start, for instance?

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