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Hailey Voters Will Decide on Plastic Bag Ban

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By Michelle Costa

HAILEY, ID (KMVT-TV) - Lawmakers across the country continue to debate the issue of plastic bag pollution.

Many are banning plastic single–use shopping bags or considering such legislation.

Central Idaho voters are only months away from a similar vote in November.

But, the issue isn't as straight forward as it's bagged up to be.

“This is what the average consumer uses in plastic bags for a year. 500,” said Erika Greenberg, Teacher, Wood River High School.

For Erika Greenberg, it’s reason enough to ask people in Hailey to consider banning plastic bags.

"If we continue to have the demand, we will have the supply. We want to use re–usable bags. No data has shown it’s bad,” said Greenberg.

A group of high school students collected hundreds of signatures to place the proposed legislation on the ballot.

"People use bags at the grocery store and they throw them away and go to the landfills and picked up by wind and animals,” said Maggie Williams, Environmental Club.

Over at Hilex Poly, a Jerome–based company, plastic bags are the way of life.

It's the world's largest manufacturer and recycle of plastic carry–out bags.

"Plastic bags has nothing to do with marine decay. Can it happen? Yes. But, that's why we are so aggressive with recycling. Since their inception, we've been able to take 50 percent out of plastic bags. We make a bag that's much strong at half,” said Mark Daniels, Hilex Poly Co.

Hailey's proposal would slap retailers who ignore the ban with a $50 daily fine.

On Friday, the Environmental Club will be hosting a free movie called "Just Bag It" at the Liberty Theater in Hailey.

It starts at 7 pm.


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