GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The Greenville Environmental Advisory Commission voted to move a resolution to reduce the number of single use plastic bags to the Greenville City Council for a possible vote.
Banning single use plastic bags is just one of the options suggested by the commission for council members to consider. Other options included educating the public on the detrimental effects of plastic bags, training staff to use fewer plastic bags, and creating a fee or surcharge for plastic bags.
Supporters of the resolution said one of the goals is to reduce waste and avoid an excess of plastic bags in the community, which they said often end up on the ground as litter.
Durk Tyson said the city council won’t be limited to the options suggested to them.
“We’re an advisory board to the city council.,” he said. “Ultimately it’s the city council’s decision on what to do. This is a recommendation that we’re making to them.”
The move was met with disapproval by Greenville City Council member McLean Godley, representing district 3.
“The Environmental Advisory Commission’s unanimously-passed resolution to officially discourage “single-use” plastic shopping bag usage would be disruptive to the day-to-day lives of our citizens and local businesses if ratified by City Council,” Godley said in a statement. “Certainly, plastic bags not properly disposed of are an annoyance, but this resolution has not but should take into consideration the inconvenience of consumers and businesses that would be affected by this resolution if passed by City Council. It is also concerning that this resolution proposes another tax on our citizens, who have already shouldered a large burden with twelve new taxes and fees in the past two years.”
The ban could possibly expand to all of Pitt County if commissioners decided to pass it as well. The recommendations won’t be heard by the city council until the April meeting at the earliest.