Residents react to 10 cent single-use disposable bag fee proposal

KNWA

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KWNA) — Bagging your groceries could soon come with an additional fee in Fayetteville.

An ordinance to add a 10 cent fee for the use of single-use disposable bags will go in front of the Fayetteville city council Tuesday and some residents said they are all for it.​

“​Even when you’re not considering those bags, and you just look at the packaging our food comes in… this is just a small thing you can do to help out the environment.​,” said Fayetteville resident Elizabeth Rose.

​Margot Heinzelmann​ and her husband are also on board. ​Right now, it would be a good incentive for people to use other types of bags and the plastic is getting in our water system and it is hard to control.​​”

The initiative is one of several from the city to reduce its carbon footprint. It would affect locations over 10,000 square feet that sell food including Walmart, Walgreens and Harps.​​

Environmental Director, ​Peter Nierengarten said, “​It’s really about a behavior change and just trying to reduce the number of bags leaving our stores in Fayetteville.”

Nierengarten said the city started looking into the option last year after surveying more than 2,200 people.​​ “We saw better than 60 percent of people responded saying they would be willing to pay at least 10 cents and a higher percent willing to pay 5 cents.​​”

Mr. Heinzelmann said they would have no problem paying the fee and usually bring their own reusable bags with them at the grocery store.​​ “It sets a precedent to do other things that makes sense for the environment like using reusable water bottles or reusable water containers that are thrown away.”

Not everyone feels the same way, we found several comments on the KNWA and FOX24 Facebook page saying this will not solve the plastic problem and people should not have to pay for grocery bags at the store.​​​

Walmart released a statement saying it encourages customers to use reusable bags and it has several options for sale at its store. Customers can also return single-use plastic bags to the store for recycling.​​​

If the ordinance passes the city plans to step up its effort to distribute free reusable bags .​

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