Columbia City Council withdraws proposed plastic bag ban

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Columbia - Local retailers and consumers in Columbia still have a choice how they take their groceries home.

The Columbia City Council planned to vote on a ban on single-use plastic shopping bags Monday night, but they decided to withdraw the ordinance. Columbia City Council decided to withdraw a proposed single-use plastic bag ban for stores in Columbia that sell groceries. 

One council member said they hope to re-visit the proposal in the future, but more time is needed to educate the public on the harms of plastic waste, as well as other options to help the problem.

"Citizens want government to do things for them, not to them," said Ward 6 Council Member Barbara Hoppe. "So we need to work with the community to the the point where they think this is a good thing." said Barbara Hoppe, the ward 6 Council Member.

The ordinance included the implementation of a 10-cent charge for recyclable paper bags. The ban aimed to reduce the toxicity of waste materials in local waterways such as the Missouri River. 

The Council approved a new airport master plan to exam possibilities for a new terminal at the airport, as well as storm water runoff and other general infrastructure needs Monday night as well.

Council also approved the annexation of land to the west of Battle High School and the new elementary school. The idea is to create a place for a new sub-division near the schools. 

Opponents of the annexation said it would be too expensive for the city. 

Jim Loveless, a Columbia resident, disagreed. He said the city has a good plan in place and feels the sub-division is a good idea. 

"Anytime you get kids who go to a particular school close enough to that school that they can indentify with it, have an indentity with it, even walk to their schools, I think it's a great idea."