May 13

GCP is supporting an amendment to delay the implementation of the Cuyahoga County Council proposal to ban retailer use of  plastic single-use bags. Last month, Cuyahoga County Council members introduced an ordinance that would ban single-use plastic bags countywide--with specified exclusions.  The ban is poised to pass Council later this month with an effective date of October 2019. This action follows an emerging trend in the states of California and New York and municipalities across the country with similar bans. Meanwhile, many states (including Michigan and Indiana) have preempted local authority to regulate these types of containers. An amendment is expected in Council later this week that would delay implementation of the ban pending further examination.

Cuyahoga County needs to do more work to study the potential impact of this ban, including the environmental and pollution impact. Alternatives to plastic bags may be more harmful to  the environment and there needs to be more analysis on whether a ban would reduce pollution, particularly in Lake Erie. Cuyahoga County needs to do more to educate the public and retailers need more time to address the administrative burden of operating under a different regulatory framework in Cuyahoga County and to address the new associated costs on their business.