Alaskans stand up against plastic bags

    Unalaska, Alaska (KINY) Plastic bags have been banned in Kodiak, Wasilla, Bethel, Cordova and Hooper Bay.

    Unalaska residents urged city officials to ban single-use plastic bags as 25 residents spoke in favor of the ban this month.

    Alaska's Energy Desk reported the effort began in 2013 with the circulation of a petition.  That effort failed to produce a ban on plastic bags.

    Supporters said the ban would help the environment and the health of waterways.  Opponents wonder if it would affect consumers in grocery and other stores that use the bags.

    Grocer Abe Palmer of Safeway said he thinks education and re-establishing the recycling program could have the same effect as a plastic bag ban. He also said paper bags are five times more expensive than plastic bags. "All those costs would not be absorbed by the company," Palmer said. "It would be absorbed going out into the customers' market."

    The issue is scheduled for discussion at a city council meeting next month.

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