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Ashland May Consider Plastic Bag Ban

By John Darling
Mail Tribune

Environment Oregon is launching a campaign today in hopes of persuading the Ashland City Council to ban plastic shopping bags.

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Mayor John Stromberg said he will refer the initiative to the city's Conservation Commission for study and recommendations before the council votes on it.

Based in Portland and formerly part of the Oregon State Public Interest Research Group, Environment Oregon plans a news conference on the proposal at 3 p.m. today at the entrance to Lithia Park. The movie "Bag It" will be shown at 5:30 p.m. at the Ashland Art Center, 357 E. Main St. The events are free and open to the public.

The group helped to ban bags in Portland, Eugene and Corvallis and seeks to add Ashland to that list as a way of building statewide momentum for the cause, said Stromberg.

He emailed the city administrator to see whether he has the power to refer the matter first to the Conservation Commission, Stromberg said, noting he's concerned about plastic bags but doesn't want to express an opinion before it gets to the council.

Sarah Higginbotham, director of Environment Oregon, said her group is seeking a ban next in Ashland, as "Ashland is very environmentally friendly. No one's saying it wouldn't work in Medford, but there's so much support for it in Ashland. ... We'd love to work with any city where there's support. We're working with Bend and Salem now."

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