Atlanta pushes pause on proposed ban of plastic bags and straws at airport, city buildings

Plastic straws. (Credit: pippalou / Morguefile.com)
Plastic straws. (Credit: pippalou / Morguefile.com)

Credit: Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Credit: Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

While the measure was due to be discussed at council committee meetings Wednesday, instead a council committee voted Tuesday to put consideration of the proposed ordinance on hold.

“We are all in agreement that a little more work and due diligence is necessary before the legislation moves forward,” said Michael Smith, a spokesman for Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, in a written statement.

City council member Amir Farokhi, who proposed the legislation, said putting it on hold would allow time for "working through some questions and issues," and to make sure it's aligned with the airport's sustainability initiatives. He declined to detail the specific questions and issues.

Farokhi has said there are plans for a carve-out to address concerns for people with disabilities who need plastic straws that bend.

Christopher Langdon, who spoke at a council committee meeting Wednesday as part of the plastics industry, is against a ban and said the plastics industry “employs thousands and thousands of people domestically.”

The U.S. plastic bag industry has a campaign to prohibit bans on plastic bags.

“Our industry personally believes we have a bigger problem with people not recycling, not cleaning up their trash,” Langdon said, and added that alternatives to single-use plastics are more expensive.

In 2015, the Georgia Senate voted to bar cities and counties from banning plastic bags, but the Georgia House rejected the measure.

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