Large Company brings ideas for plastic bag recycling

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COLUMBIA -  The plastic bag debate rages on in Columbia, and on Tuesday night, officials from the largest plastic bag recycling facility in North America weighed in.

Representatives from Novolex delivered a presentation during an Environment and Energy Commission meeting.

Novolex officials said the biggest strategy to increase recycling in the city would be public education on the topic, such as showing citizens the multiple options and locations when it comes to recycling.

The city has been reviewing ideas for how to handle the plastic bag situation for months. Recently, the city council looked at banning plastic bags in grocery stores and charging 10 cents for paper bags.

One Columbia resident Chris Hayday supports the idea, saying he wants to preserve natural trails and parks.

"It's prettier, it's much better looking, you can run the same trail everyday and see something different, so it's nice to enjoy nature's beauty without it being disturbed by trash and liter like the plastic bags," Hayday said.

One Columbia business, Clovers Natural Market only has paper bags, and are petitioning to ban plastic bags throughout the city. They said they have not seen a decrease in their customer base since the switch to paper a couple of years ago.

The Columbia City Council said it will give more feedback on what to do with plastic bags at a future meeting, but does not have immediate plans to bring in Novolex on a permanent basis.