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Utah State University Student Group Seeks To Ban Plastic Bags In Logan

Torrey Gleave, a local photographer, was at Farmington Bay when he saw something odd.

“I walked up behind the landfill and it’s just garbage everywhere into Farmington Bay. As I was coming back along the same trail I saw a crow hanging from a branch in a tree with that bag wrapped around his neck. He was obviously stuck. He couldn’t get out. So I climbed the tree. I was able to free him and let him go,” Gleave said.

When Utah State University student Lorenzo Long heard this story, it added another bullet point to his growing list about the problems with plastic bags. In his communicating sustainability class at USU, he and other students decided to pursue a ban on plastic bags in Logan.

The student group began with an awareness initiative, securing donations for the reusable bags and organizing awareness events. Their eventual goal is to have Logan City Council work with local retailers to develop a city-wide ordinance that would ban plastic bags without allowing the retailers to lose money. They plan to officially propose a city-wide ban on plastic bags in the next few months. 

The initiative has many people's support. We talked to a number of students on USU Logan campus about the possible ban.

One student said:

“I would definitely be all for it. I think plastic bag use needs to come down… I always prefer to use canvas bags, plastic bags are really wasteful…”

But not everyone in Utah is against plastic bags. We spoke to an accounting major at USU who said he would be sad if the ban passed.

“I love plastic bags. I use them all the time. I went to California over the summer and they don’t have bags there and it was the worst.”

Some of Utah’s lawmakers also appreciate plastic bags. In the 2018 legislative session, Senator Gregg Buxton introduced Senate Bill 218, which sought to ban plastic bag bans. Although the bill ultimately stalled in the House, it did manage to pass the Senate.