Norfolk council member wants to trash plastic bags

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by Karen Hopkins, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on September 27, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 27 at 6:40 PM

NORFOLK-Norfolk should ban plastic bags, one councilmember believes.

"It's a real environmental and ecologic issue," Teresa Whibley says.

She says the city has worked a number of years trying to reduce the number of plastic bags, but now it's time to go further.

"We have made some strides, but not enough strides that we feel are necessary to reduce litter and recognition that bags don't go away. They don't decompose. They're left in our waterways and pose hazards to water foul and sea animals," she states.

Making a change will take help from state legislators. In Virginia, the Dillon rule means cities can't make laws that are inconsistent statewide.

Whibley says City council will ask for Norfolk to have a local option to make a rule regarding plastic bag use.

"That's our first hurdle and it's a big one, but I think it's a worthy one for us to try," Whibley stresses.

If the General Assembly approves the measure next year, Council could come up with a plan to ban plastic bags or determine which stores can and cannot use them.

"It would really depend on how the ordinance is written, and that's why it's important to get all the stakeholders together."

 

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