LAWRENCE, KS (KCTV) - Reducing the amount of plastic people use is a growing concern across the country.
“If we could make a difference, Lawrence would be the place to do it,” Brynn Blair who is a shopper, said.
That’s why Lawrence wants to do its part to help decrease its carbon footprint. The city is considering a fee on single use plastic and paper bags.
“I fully support that it’s not necessary and it’s a small way for the government to get some money and it’s good for the environment,” Davis Harrison another shopper, said.
All the details haven’t been hammered out yet. The city doesn’t know if they’ll impose a small fee for plastic and paper or ban them all together, but some stores are already doing away with bags.
One grocery store across town already gave up plastic bags six years ago. The Merc Co-op applauds the city’s choice to be mindful and encourages the city commission to continue researching the proposal.
“The Merc Co-op stopped providing plastic bags in 2013. Today, shoppers often bring their own bags or use paper bags or boxes provided by the store. We applaud the choice to be more mindful. With the Kansas sales tax on groceries among the highest in the nation, a fee on all bags could further impact the most vulnerable members of our community in terms of affordability and access. With that in mind, we encourage the Sustainability Advisory Board and the City Commission to continue to research this proposal.”
The store said the states sales tax on groceries is among the highest in the nation and a bag fee could further impact the most vulnerable in the community.
If Lawrence passes the proposal, it would become the first community in Kansas to do so following in the footsteps of states like California.
Kroger and Dillons plan to phase out plastic bags by 2025.
“Kroger and Dillons are leading the change and are committed to phasing out plastic bags in favor of reusable options by 2025. It's a bold move and a positive step ahead. It is also fundamental change in the way all retailers do business and how all of us as consumers shop,” Sheila Lowrie, Corporate Affairs Manager, said.
Just last year, Dillons recycled more than 600 tons of plastic from their stores.
“Currently, Dillons trains our associates to reduce the number of plastic bags at checkout and we continue to offer recycling at all our Dillons locations. In fact, last year we were able to recycle more than 600 tons of plastic from our stores,” Lowrie said.
The proposal will come back up for discussion at a later date.