Friday, February 10, 2012

Ski towns skittish about bag bans


MOUNTAIN VILLAGE, Colo.—Telluride did it. So did Aspen. Shouldn't Mountain Village ban plastic bags, too?

Connected with Telluride by a gondola, the slope-side municipality often acts in concert with its older sibling down in the box canyon. But in this case, council members report deep reservations.

"We're not all in agreement that what Telluride has done is the answer," said Bob Delves, the mayor of Mountain Village, after fielding a call for action similar to Telluride's.

But Dave Schillaci, a council member, also argued that if dampening greenhouse gas emissions is the goal, paper bags should be banned, because they require more energy to manufacture.

The irony, observes The Telluride Watch, is that a film called "Bag It," which was largely responsible for Telluride's action, was created at Mountain Village. The film broadly critiqued plastic bags because of their effect on waterways and landscapes, and also directly on people.

In Wyoming, a town councilor in Jackson has also decided to can his proposal to ban plastic bags. Greg Miles, who had proposed the prohibition in November, counted the votes and found himself on the short end. He said he would explore expanded outreach and an educational campaign or a 5- to 10-cent tax on bags.

"It's unfortunate that the council seems to be a bit fearful of the potential ramifications of a plastic bag ban in grocery stores," Miles told the Jackson Hole News & Guide.

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