AP NEWS

Wichita considers banning or taxing plastic bags

February 11, 2020 GMT

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita is considering banning plastic bags or implementing a city-wide tax to curb their use, officials said.

The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to form a task force to consider how to reduce or eliminate single-use plastic bags in Wichita, noting how they’re difficult to recycle and are not biodegradable.

Several other cities in the U.S. have either banned or taxed plastic bags in recent years. San Francisco and Portland have banned plastic bags entirely. Denver has imposed a 10-cent tax per bag, and Chicago has a 7-cent bag tax.

Of Kansas’ neighboring states, only Colorado has plastic bag ordinances. Wichita would be the first city in Kansas to ban or tax the use of plastic bags, The Wichita Eagle reported.

City Council member Brandon Johnson said he was surprised by how many people and businesses support a ban.

“We have a lot of businesses that have already decided not to use plastic bags,” Johnson said. “Kroger reached out and said they would be interested in talking about it.”

The task force, which includes both activists who support taxing or banning the bags and business leaders who would be affected by the changes, is scheduled to meet this month to discuss the legality of the situation and what it could end up costing businesses and the city if a bag ordinance is implemented.