West Linn, OR – Today, West Linn citizens came together to call on West Linn City Council to ban plastic bags. The event, hosted by citizen-based environmental advocacy organization Environment Oregon, saw the announcement of hundreds of citizen petitions in support of a ban. This is part of their effort to keep plastic bags out of the Pacific Ocean and Oregon’s waterways by banning the bag. In the Halloween spirit, they were joined by the “Bag Monster,” the mascot of Environment Oregon’s Keep Plastic Out of the Pacific campaign. The Bag Monster consists of over 400 plastic bags—the average number a person uses in one year.
“West Linn has the opportunity to take a stand against plastic pollution, by banning single-use plastic bags,” said Sarah Heisler of Environment Oregon. “This is clearly an issue West Linn residents care about. We already have the support of over 700 citizens who want to protect our environment, and who are calling on City Councilors to take action and ban plastic bags.”
Right now, there are 100 million tons of trash in the Pacific Ocean. In some places, plastic outweighs plankton 6-to-1. Plastic pollution harms thousands of sea birds and marine animals, like sea turtles, every year. Too much of this trash comes from plastic bags, which are particularly harmful to wildlife.
“West Linn can reduce plastic pollution and protect our environment by banning single-use plastic bags. But we need our City Councilors to take action and answer the call of hundreds of West Linn residents who want to protect our rivers and oceans,” said Heisler.
With less than 5% of single-use plastic bags being recycled across the country, cities across Oregon are starting to address the issue of plastic bag pollution. While plastic film had been shipped abroad to be recycled, countries like China are no longer accepting these plastics, pushing West Linn to change their policy towards plastic bags.
Oregonians use more than 1 billion plastic bags each year. They work their way through Oregon’s waterways, like the Willamette River, eventually ending up in the Pacific Ocean. Banning single-use plastic bags in West Linn will help protect wildlife in our waterways and in the Pacific Ocean.
With bans already passed in Portland, Eugene, and Corvallis, passing a bag ban would make West Linn the fourth city in Oregon to enact the policy.