Sierra Club faces challenges with plastic bag ban ordinance

3 years 7 months 3 days ago Sunday, February 15 2015 Feb 15, 2015 Sunday, February 15, 2015 2:15:00 PM CST February 15, 2015 in News
By: Nick Hehemann, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Carolyn Amparan has been passionate about environment-friendly policies for quite a while, but was never extremely active until a few years ago.

"Before that, I was kind of what you would call an email activist," Amparan said. 

Now, as the chair for the Osage Group of the Missouri Sierra Club, she is leading the push for an ordinance set to reach the city council that would ban single-use plastic bags from grocery stores in Columbia. 

Amparan said changes are needed to eliminate what she calls the waste of resources that can be harmful for the environment.

But, she said raising awareness isn't always easy. 

"Of course, there are a lot of people that are opposed to it, people who are set in their ways," Amparan said. "They're used to the plastic bags."

Some residents are also opposed to the ten cent cost associated with the ordinance that stores would be able to charge customers for having to buy paper bags. 

"It's just an extra ten cents," said Rickey Christian, a Columbia resident. "You go to a store, you buy food and pay an extra ten cents. It's just inconvenient."

But, Amparan said the purpose of the fee is to encourage customers to reuse bags.  

"You don't want to just drive people from using plastic to paper," she said. "The goal is to get people to understand that the best choice for sustainable living is a reusable bag."

One resident said the unfamiliar policies tend to make people hesitate to support them. 

"People have a fear of change and feel sometimes that that will impose on their freedom," Eric Pherigo, a Columbia resident for the last seven years, said.

Although it's a new concept for Columbia, the plastic bag ban has already passed in several cities around the United States. 

Even in the Midwest, ordinances similar to the one in Columbia have already passed in Chicago, Evanston, Illinois and Marshall County, Iowa, in the past six years. 

California issued the nation's first statewide ban late in 2014.

Amparan said while Missouri is rarely considered a leader in environment-friendly policies, Columbia is different. 

"Columbia has curbside recycling, bike paths and all those great walking trails," Amparan said. "Columbia is a more environmentally-friendly city than perhaps some of the rest of Missouri."

This is in part why Pherigo said the passing of the ordinance wouldn't surprise him.

"All this stuff like the bags, it's all doable," he said. "I think once people can make that change, they will be more supportive of it."

On February 8, Amparan and other Sierra Club members stood outside the Missouri River Relief's Wild and Scenic Film Festival at the Blue Note to encourage people to sign a petition for the ordinance.

Amparan wore an outfit composed of 500 plastic bags to show the number that an average shopper goes through in a year. 

The Columbia City Council is scheduled to have its first reading on the ordinance on Monday. 

Unless the ordinance is tabled, a vote will likely take place in the beginning of March.

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - Police have arrested a man they say shot a man in Jefferson City on Saturday. Dana... More >>
2 days ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 12:00:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - On Sunday night, the MU Police Department arrested a man suspected of exposing himself at Ellis library. ... More >>
2 days ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 10:35:00 AM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
COOPER COUNTY - An I-70 motorcycle crash left one man dead Sunday night. The Missouri State Highway Patrol identified... More >>
2 days ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 7:29:00 AM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - One of the latest attack ads on Sen. Claire McCaskill, D- Missouri, claims the senator is giving her... More >>
2 days ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 4:30:00 AM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Another Columbia resident is voicing her complaints about Bird scooters, and this time, she's talking to city council.... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, September 16 2018 Sep 16, 2018 Sunday, September 16, 2018 8:00:00 PM CDT September 16, 2018 in News
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. - Missouri Task Force One is currently assisting in search, rescue and evacuation operations in North Carolina... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, September 16 2018 Sep 16, 2018 Sunday, September 16, 2018 4:35:00 PM CDT September 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Council is expected to adopt the budget for 2019 Monday. If adopted, the budget... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, September 16 2018 Sep 16, 2018 Sunday, September 16, 2018 4:24:00 PM CDT September 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – The Worley Street Roundtable hosted several community members for a meeting and luncheon on Sunday afternoon. The... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, September 16 2018 Sep 16, 2018 Sunday, September 16, 2018 4:21:00 PM CDT September 16, 2018 in News
GASCONADE - A 64-year-old man is dead after a single vehicle collision Saturday night, according to a Missouri State Highway... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, September 16 2018 Sep 16, 2018 Sunday, September 16, 2018 2:37:00 PM CDT September 16, 2018 in Top Stories
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on Tropical Depression Florence (all times local): 2:05 p.m. A small town... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, September 16 2018 Sep 16, 2018 Sunday, September 16, 2018 2:15:00 PM CDT September 16, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City-area school district plans to use money as an incentive to get students to... More >>
3 days ago Sunday, September 16 2018 Sep 16, 2018 Sunday, September 16, 2018 12:48:27 PM CDT September 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia's city council will meet Monday night to discuss changes to the city's bus services and fares. ... More >>
3 days ago Sunday, September 16 2018 Sep 16, 2018 Sunday, September 16, 2018 12:37:00 PM CDT September 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone County representatives, candidates and community members walked a 5k on Sunday to highlight climate change and demonstrate... More >>
3 days ago Sunday, September 16 2018 Sep 16, 2018 Sunday, September 16, 2018 12:18:00 PM CDT September 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - From mid-Missouri arrangements all the way to Japanese Bonsai, two floral clubs showcased displays at the Columbia Public... More >>
3 days ago Sunday, September 16 2018 Sep 16, 2018 Sunday, September 16, 2018 6:24:00 AM CDT September 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Four suspects are in custody after a woman was robbed at gunpoint while walking to work Saturday night.... More >>
3 days ago Sunday, September 16 2018 Sep 16, 2018 Sunday, September 16, 2018 1:32:00 AM CDT September 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A five vehicle crash caused by a hay bale in Jefferson City on Saturday left six people... More >>
3 days ago Saturday, September 15 2018 Sep 15, 2018 Saturday, September 15, 2018 11:47:00 PM CDT September 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The roars from toy dinosaurs and giggles from Tickle-Me-Elmos filled the room in Clark Hall on Saturday while... More >>
3 days ago Saturday, September 15 2018 Sep 15, 2018 Saturday, September 15, 2018 11:28:00 PM CDT September 15, 2018 in News
FULTON - The Westminster College Blue Jays unveiled their new turf football field on Saturday in their game against Iowa... More >>
3 days ago Saturday, September 15 2018 Sep 15, 2018 Saturday, September 15, 2018 10:45:00 PM CDT September 15, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 91°
2pm 89°
3pm 92°
4pm 93°
5pm 90°