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Frankfort City Commissioner Anna Marie Rosen has been a vocal advocate for the implementation of a single-use plastic bag surcharge. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Outgoing Frankfort City Commissioner Anna Marie Rosen has been a vocal advocate for the implementation of a single-use plastic bag surcharge during her tenure, with the hopes that it would lead to the eventual elimination of these bags from most retailers.

At the final voting session of the Frankfort City Commission, she appealed to the board to implement an exploratory committee to research the viability of this kind of program, but ultimately the discussion was tabled.

Rosen told The State-Journal that “the Commission did not even give me a 2nd for a motion to have staff study the possibility of a bag fee. They suggested that I could work with the County Solid Waste Task force.

“I am not one of the appointed members, but have attended one of their quarterly meetings, and plan on meeting with Brittany Woodward (task force supervisor) and discussing this with her in the new year.”

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, American consumers use over 100 billion single-use plastic bags every year, and of that total only 1-3% on average are recycled.

The Conservation Law Center in Boston published results of an Australian study in 2020 that 28.5% of plastic reduction from a recently adopted California ban was due to shifting utilization of other forms of bags (in particular, paper bags which are recyclable in most single-stream facilities).

The study also showed that overall consumption of plastic bags went down 71%, and kept 100% of bags out of single-stream recycling facilities. These bags are notorious for clogging up machinery, leading to prolonged delays in recycling processing.

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