What is Albuquerque’s plastic bag ban?


ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – It was turned on and off and then back on. Plastic bag ban in Albuquerque. Councilman Brook Bassan wants to permanently overturn Albuquerque’s plastic bag ban. “To me, we’re adding a regressive tax to a lot of our community members who can’t afford to buy these bags,” Bassan said.

The Clean and Green Retail Ordinance came into effect in early 2020 but was quickly suspended due to the pandemic. It was reinstated last summer. Under the order, companies can offer substitutes such as paper grocery bags or other reusable bags more than four millimeters thick. “If they have these reusable bags, if they don’t wash them, they could cause more health problems for themselves and their families,” Bassan said.

According to the adviser, business owners have also said that the supply chain shortage is weighing on their establishments. “Companies are not even able to go out and buy sewn reusable bags for their consumers because there is such a demand and there is not enough supply,” Bassan said.

Buyers are mixed on the issue. “It’s become a big problem every time you go shopping without a bag, it’s ridiculous,” said shopper Francisco Rodrigues.

“I feel like I would rather they kept the paper bags, I have no problem with them,” said fellow customer Lindsey Sigmon.

Bassan Councilman Pat Davis sees things differently. “I am delighted to see that the city is moving forward. businesses and customers are adapting, we are doing something to be a leader in conservation and our green economy,” Davis said.

Davis co-sponsored the order and says there are bigger issues to focus on right now. “I think voters would much rather see city council focus on advancing issues like crime, public safety, homelessness, than rehash two or three years of old debates,” said Davis.

He says the ordinance needs more time before making drastic changes. “I think it’s necessary to let it work and let retailers and customers help us figure out what’s next for this law,” Davis said. The ban does not apply to restaurants, farmers’ markets or dry cleaners.


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