Plastic bags

The Jackson, Wyo., Town Council voted Monday to ban stores from using single-use plastic bags.

The Jackson, Wyo., Town Council voted unanimously Monday to ban merchants from using single-use plastic bags.

The ban will come in phases throughout the coming year, starting with grocers and large retailers April 15. At that point they will no longer be using one-time-use plastic bags. The stores also will charge 20 cents for paper bags and reusable plastic bags. The revenue from the fees will be split between the businesses and the town. Smaller retailers have until Nov. 15 to implement the ban. Shoppers can avoid fees by bringing their own reusable bags.

“This is a big step,” Jackson mayor Pete Muldoon said to the Jackson Hole News & Guide. “It’s a message that says we do care about our environment. It’s a message that says we will make sacrifices to protect it.”

The town had been considering the ban for the past six months, hoping to follow the example of cities and states across the country.

The ordinance stalled while the Council considered ways to make it easier on small businesses. Some small businesses complained that checkout times would be longer and it would take time to use up stockpiles of plastic bags.

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