Omaha City Council Considers Plastic Grocery Bag Ban

Omaha City Councilman Pete Festersen says the time has come to get rid of plastic grocery bags. The bags do not decompose and often end up in the landfill or blowing in the wind along the side of the road.

The Omaha City Council proposed a ban on plastic grocery bag use will be formally introduced during Tuesday afternoon's meeting.

"It's discouraging when you're driving around to see all the plastic bags in the environment, in our parks and streets and trees. It is preventable," Councilman Pete Festersen tells 6 News.

Some grocery stores are happy with the proposal. Owners of Wohlner's Grocery in Midtown Crossing have offered a five percent discount to customers using reusable bags for years.

"When city council first talked about it and I said I supported it, I had some people who called me up to complain and tell me I was wrong. This time around, some of the same people now agree with me," Mike Schwartz with Wohlner's Grocery told 6 News.

Wohlner's estimates around 15 percent of its customers bring in their own bags. "People still ask for paper and I'd much rather give them paper. Cloth is my favorite, but paper I prefer. It disappears in the landfill and everything," Schwartz says.

The ban would not affect plastic bags used on produce. The city council will hold a public hearing on the issue April 23 at 2 p.m. at City Hall.

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