Eugene councilors discuss adding fee to single-use items

City councilors held a work session Wednesday to discuss adding a fee to some single-use items in grocery stores and restaurants.

Posted: Jan 16, 2019 5:46 PM
Updated: Jan 16, 2019 5:46 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Eugene city councilors held a work session Wednesday to discuss adding a fee to some single-use items in grocery stores and restaurants.

In Eugene, you can no longer get a plastic bag for free, and you have to pay five cents for a paper one. The new proposal would add a fee to some single-use items like plastic lids, stirrers, food wrappers and plastic containers, but councilors did not say exactly how much the fee would be.

RELATED: Legislature to weigh statewide plastic bag tax, straw ban

Restaurants also wouldn't be able to give customers single-use straws unless they asked for one, and they would have to pay more for new environmentally-friendly items.

However, one employee KEZI 9 News spoke with said more people have been asking for these items for the past five years.

"Additional costs now will make up for stuff in the future hopefully for businesses," Springfield resident Alicia Lundeen said.

Lundeen says some people look for restaurants that are environmentally friendly and do not mind paying more.

Some councilors said they're worried about the consequences the proposal could have, especially on low-income families, but others said the move is essential for our environment.

The council voted to hold another work session on the idea instead of moving it to a public hearing, saying they have “more questions than answers.”

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