Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Seelbach is set to propose a plastic bag ban. A full council vote could come in April; if approved, it would go into effect Jan. 1, 2021. “Countless bags end up littering our communities and polluting our rivers. And it takes every single one of these bags at least 1,000 years to disintegrate,” Seelbach told The Enquirer. “Moving away from flimsy bags allows us to clean up our community, save money and help the environment.”

Among those who support the idea: Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen and Mayor John Cranley. Cincinnati’s Green Cincinnati Plan, approved in 2018, proposed a 5- or 10-cent fee on plastic bags, but was never put in place. In 2018, Kroger became the first major US retailer to announce a phase out of single-use plastic bags at check out. Our commitment supports Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste social impact plan and recognizes we have a responsibility to reduce unnecessary plastic waste that harms our environment and endangers our ecosystem.

Kroger supports the City of Cincinnati’s proposal to accelerate this work. We like three specific aspects of the proposed ordinance: First, applying the single-use plastic shopping bag ban to both restaurants and retailers is important because we need a community-wide effort to reduce plastic waste to bring us closer to our goal of creating communities free of waste. Second, the inclusion of a small fee on single-use paper bags has proven effective at moving consumers toward reusable bag alternatives, and our ultimate goal is to shift completely over to reusable bags. And third, the proposal provides relief by exempting low-income shoppers from paying this fee.

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Author: Sharon Coolidge, Cincinnati Enquirer
Photo: Cincinnati Enquirer