Salem stores may soon be free of the plastic bags that pollute our oceans and threaten wildlife.

The Salem City Council advanced a citywide ban on plastic shopping bags following a public hearing on Oct. 22. The ban would go into effect in April and September of 2019, depending on the size of the store. The ban has been percolating since May and received a significant rewrite before the City Council's decision. The new version of the ordinance added a refined definition of "reusable bag," and is free of previous sections that would have exempted some stores.

Environment Oregon attended the public hearing for the ban in October, and Environment Oregon Associate John Ammondson testified in support. “Nothing we use for ten minutes should pollute the environment for hundreds of years,” John said.

We are hopeful the ban will be officially approved before the end of the year.

Read more here.

Photo: Olive Ridley sea turtles are just one of the many species threatened by plastic pollution off the Oregonian coast. Credit: Brad Flickinger via Flickr (CC by 2.0)