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Plastic Bag Ban In Cuyahoga County Gets Budish's Support, Likely To Pass Council

Cuyahoga County is hoping sights like this one - a plastic bag stuck high up in a tree - will soon be a thing of the past. [Nick Castele / ideastream]
picture of plastic bag in tree

Council Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish supports a ban  on single-use plastic bags that appears likely to pass Cuyahoga County Council.

The ordinance has support from a majority of county council members.

If passed, it would take effect October 1 st and violators would be subject to fine up to $500 for a third offense.

County council tried to impose a ten-cent fee on plastic bags but were blocked by a state law.

County Executive Armond Budish said, durting an interview with ideastream the day after the new ordinance was considered in council's environment and sustainibility committee, that the previous proposal wouldn’t have made it to his desk anyway.

“The prior one as I understand it didn’t have the support, this one, I believe, is likely to pass council and come to my desk,” Budish said. “When it does, I’ll sign it.” 

The new ordinance wouldn’t affect plastic bags used to transport perishable items like produce or fish, prescription drugs or takeout from a restaurant.

Budish linked the measure to his recently announced climate action plan, which includes investment in tree-planting, bike-and-foot trails and support of transit-centered development.

“You know, we have to preserve our environment for our kids and our grandkids and that’s what the climate change action plan does and that’s what this ordinance does.”

Matthew Richmond is a reporter/producer focused on criminal justice issues at Ideastream Public Media.