Cincinnati City Council has banned single-use plastic bags, an initiative that started in March, just before the coronavirus pandemic. Even as originally written, the ban won’t take effect until Jan. 1, 2021, which is when stores have to switch to reusable bags. The city health department won’t start enforcing the ban until July 1, 2021. And now there’s a new clause that allows the ban to be lifted during states of emergency, like the one in effect during the current pandemic.

Council voted 7-1 for the law, with Republican Councilwoman Betsy Sundermann opposed to the idea. She expressed concern it would create hardship for small businesses in poor neighborhoods. Fellow Republican Jeff Pastor was absent.

While there’s been no organized opposition, some on social media question whether it should be a council priority at the moment. A business owner, during public comment, urged council to look at technology that helps plastic bags biodegrade more quickly. Cincinnati joins 400 cities and eight states that have already enacted such laws.

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Author: Sharon Coolidge, Cincinnati Enquirer
Image: Albert Cesare, Cincinnati Enquirer