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Lincoln officials open to considering plastic bag regulation

May 23, 2019

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Lincoln city leaders are interested in regulating single-use plastic shopping bags, despite stop-start efforts to reduce their use in Omaha.

State and local governments around the country have been implementing regulations to reduce or prohibit the use of plastic bags. Advocates say such restrictions could help conserve wildlife and protect the environment.

On Tuesday, the Democrat-dominated Omaha City Council approved a ban on single-use plastic bags at stores larger than 10,000 square feet (930 square meters) by 2022. But Republican Mayor Jean Stothert vetoed the ordinance a day later.

Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird said she wants to discuss plastic bag regulation options with the City Council and the community, the Lincoln Journal Star reported.

“For the time being, we urge those who still use plastic bags to recycle them properly by dropping them off at local retailers,” Baird added.

City Council Chair Jane Raybould said any deliberation of the issue should weigh the nuances and include lots of feedback from Lincoln residents.

“We have to take a comprehensive approach to doing everything we can to protect our environment,” said Raybould, who is vice president of the grocery chain B&R Stores. “All approaches should be on the table.”

Many people reuse plastic bags from the grocery store, she noted.

Jim Lauerman, a retired Bailey Lauerman advertising executive, has created a campaign to persuade Hy-Vee to remove plastic bags from its grocery stores.

“We can’t just continue to play this game as if there’s no downside to ignoring this stuff,” he said.

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com

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