Marshalltown Considers Banning Non-biodegradable Plastic Bags

The city of Marshalltown is following Marshall County’s lead and is considering banning non-biodegradable plastic bags. Marshall County took action to ban non-biodegradable plastic bags last summer.

The Marshalltown Times Republican covered a joint meeting with the city council and the county supervisors and has quotes from Marshalltown Mayor Gene Beach…

“It is still my desire to discuss a plastic bag ordinance here, which would somewhat resemble the ordinance in the county,” Beach said.

The mayor went on to state, “I think it [the county ordinance] is a solid ordinance, frankly.”

Beach said that sometimes irresponsible behavior creates the need for ordinances, and he is still noticing plenty of plastic bags blowing around, even out in the county. Further adding to the need, according to Beach, is there is no incentive to recycle plastic bags.

“It costs less to make a new plastic bag than it does to recycle an old one,” he said.

Supervisor Pat Brooks said the county’s ordinance has garnered a lot of attention. Most recently, the city of Indianola asked to review a copy of what the county passed last year.

Brooks also said the two businesses affected in the county have not been significantly hurt by the issue.

“We have not prohibited plastic bags,” he reminded those in attendance. “We have prohibited those plastic bags which do not degrade.”

This would make Marshalltown the first city in Iowa to have such an ordinance. I would have thought a city such as Fairfield or Iowa City would have moved to adopt an ordinance like first, not Marshalltown.

This ordinance is a common sense idea that is a win for the environment and a win for the state of Iowa since the biodegradable plastic bags are made from corn.

Tags: Environment
  • I support this ordinance

    but people should be aware that many “biodegradable” things don’t really degrade in typical landfill conditions. It’s still much better to carry a reusable cloth bag or two for your shopping.

  • I agree about the reusable bags

    Some cities around the world are placing a 25 cent tax on plastic bags to encourage people to use reusable bags.  

    The thing with the biodegradable bags is that they are made from corn products, which helps Iowa’s economy.

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