Group pushes for plastic bag ban in Wichita

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – It’s becoming a nationwide movement — banning plastic bags.

A group called Bag Free Wichita would like to see the ban happen in Wichita.

“We need to move toward reusable instead of recyclable,” said group member Jane Byrnes.

Four Wichitans plan to address their concerns at today’s city council meeting, which includes former Wichita City Council woman Lavonta Williams.

The speakers will ask council members to create a task force that will focus on creating an ordinance on banning plastic bags.

Bag Free Wichita does not know what the proposed ordinance will look like, but it could be an outright ban or a plastic bag fee.

“This is not a revolutionary idea,” said Byrnes.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, eight states have banned single-use plastic bags.

Bag Free Wichita’s main concern is how long plastic bags stick around, but they’re only used for a short amount of time.

A report by the Environmental Protection Agency shows 100 billion plastic bags are used in the United States ever year. However, the bags are used for an average of 12 minutes.

Group members added that bags are seen all around Wichita, including in the Arkansas River or landfill.

According to Waste Management, only 1% of bags end up getting recycled.

“They become instant trash,” said Byrnes. “We’re hoping that everybody kind of takes another look at their trash, and what they’re throwing away and what they can reuse.”

Bag Free Wichita will address city council during the public hearing session. No action can be taken on these items.

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