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“Blowing bags,” “eyesore,” “expense.” These are some of the words used by the Bisbee City Attorney in the Daily Sun article, “Bag feud is ongoing”(Oct 11), as to why that city passed a plastic bag ordinance and has since fought to keep it, despite the Arizona Attorney General’s threat to withhold state money.

The article was a keen reminder that Flagstaff, too, had raised the plastic bag issue not very long ago, only to see the former City Council go spineless in the face of the same threat from Phoenix.

This begs the question: Is our City Council interested enough to revive the plastic bag usage problem, even if it means calling Attorney General Brnovich’s bluff on withholding state money (something whose legality, I think, is in question)? As a point of reference here, Bisbee has a population roughly a tenth the size of Flagstaff.

When our own plastic bag ban discussion began, we were told retailers strongly opposed a ban, that it would hurt business, and that elderly people depended on the plastic bags. No statistical evidence was provided to back any of this up. But further down in the Daily Sun article we were told that “Bisbee’s retailers embraced it”(the ordinance); and most extraordinary, Safeway, Bisbee’s largest retailer, provided the model language for the ordinance!

Here’s a statistic garnered from the Rensselaer County (NY) website: “Each high quality reusable bag you use has the potential to eliminate an average of 1,000 plastic bags over its lifetime.”

We can do this — or we can at least do something. This is Flagstaff.



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