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A New Coalition in Park City is Working to Ban Plastic Bags in Park City

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The Park City Plastic Coalition told the Park City Council that they need to take the lead for the rest of Utah.

On a mission to ban plastic bags – two park city residents encouraged the Park City Council to take the lead. KPCW’s Melissa Allison brings us the story.

Plastic bags were introduced to grocery stores in 1977 and more than 5 trillion plastic bags are produced every year with only one to three percent of them being recycled. Plastic bags don’t biodegrade and their petroleum based toxins are absorbed into the surrounding environment.

More than 230 communities in the United States have already banned the use of plastic bags. Park City officials have had conversations in the past about leading the way in Utah but didn’t want to invite more negative attention from the state legislature.

Park City Plastic Coalition representative Sharelle Rodman addressed council, for the second time in a month, at Thursday’s meeting.

They told council there is a growing interest in their coalition. Recycle Utah Education Director Mary Closser insisted that plastic bags are a huge contaminate and it’s time for Park City to make it happen.

Environmental Sustainability Manager Luke Carton told council that they will be discussing the issue at the May 11 meeting.

Council Member Tim Henney told KPCW that it’s an issue that cycles through every two or three years.

Council didn’t want to put a target on their back with the state legislature but had hoped to have other communities come together, and help offset the legal expenses. But that thinking has shifted and Henney said their collective thought is, "It’s time to step in there, take the gloves off and see what happens."

The Park City Plastic Coalition plans to have regular meetings that will be open to the public. For now – you can visit their Facebook page.