Feb 11, 2020 8:22 PM

The Latest: Wichita considers banning or taxing plastic bags

Posted Feb 11, 2020 8:22 PM

WICHITA, Kan. (AP)—The city of Wichita is considering banning plastic bags or implementing a city-wide tax to curb their use.

The city council voted for a new task force to consider reducing or eliminating single-use plastic bags.

Either option would make Wichita the first city in Kansas to pass a plastic bag ordinance.

Other cities in the U.S. have banned plastic bags or imposed taxes on them. The task force is scheduled to meet this month to discuss what such a move could end up costing businesses and the city to implement. 

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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita is considering banning plastic bags or implementing a city-wide tax to curb their use, officials said.

The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to form a task force to consider how to reduce or eliminate single-use plastic bags in Wichita noting how they’re difficult to recycle and are not biodegradable.

Several other cities in the U.S. have either banned or taxed plastic bags in recent years. San Francisco and Portland have banned plastic bags entirely. Denver imposed a 10-cent tax per bag, while Chicago has a 7-cent bag tax.

Of Kansas’ neighboring states, only Colorado has plastic bag ordinances. Wichita would be the first city in Kansas to ban or tax the use of plastic bags.

City Council member Brandon Johnson said he was surprised by how many people and business support a ban.

“We have a lot of businesses that have already decided not to use plastic bags,” Johnson said. “Kroger reached out and said they would be interested in talking about it.”

The task force, which includes both activists who support taxing or banning the bags and business leaders who would be affected by the changes, is scheduled to meet this month to discuss the legality of the situation and what it could end up costing businesses and the city if a bag ordinance is implemented.