Bag fee fails

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Environmental Sustainability Board fails to agree on recommendation.

By Arin McKenna

A motion before the Los Alamos County Environmental Sustainability Board to add a 10-cent fee to both single-use plastic bags and paper bags failed by a 3-3 vote on Thursday.
The board entertained several other motions that also failed at its meeting at the White Rock Fire Station.
In April, the Los Alamos County Council charged the ESB with holding two public meetings on whether to “ban or otherwise reduce the distribution of single use bags” and to make a recommendation to council.
Thursday’s was the second of those meetings.
Before motions were entertained, the board heard presentations from representatives on both sides of the issue, reports from each board member on interviews they conducted with the business community and information regarding recycling plastic bags gathered from the recycling company with which the county contracts.
Initially, residents and groups, notably the local chapter of the Sierra Club and the League of Women Voters of Los Alamos asked the County Council to introduce a ban on plastic bags at retail outlets, similar to the one currently enforced in Santa Fe and other cities.
Last month, proponents of banning bags asked to withdraw the motion, instead proposing the per-bag fee.
Both proposals have been controversial since their introductions.
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