South Fulton’s delayed ban on single-use plastic starts Monday

(File photo)
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(File photo)

Businesses won’t be allowed to utilize single-use plastics in the city of South Fulton starting Monday.

The city’s ban targets wasteful plastic items that hurt the environment, like straws/utensils and carry-out bags.

This follows a national trend to curb plastics only used once. The Atlanta City Council voted unanimously to ban non-compostable single-use plastic bags, straws and Styrofoam at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in December 2019.

South Fulton passed their version in October 2019 and was supposed to go into effect on Sept. 1 but “to ease the burden on consumers and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the council adopted an amendment last August postponing the ban for six months,” according to a city news release.

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The ordinance requires all retail businesses to provide reusable bags or charge at a minimum 10 cents per bag. Bags and containers that are certified compostable/100 percent recyclable or created using recycled materials are acceptable.

This applies to many businesses, including: department stores, clothing, jewelry, home improvement, package, convenience stores, pharmacies, gas stations, restaurants, food vending trucks, farmers markets and temporary food/merchandise vendors at street fairs and festivals.

City procurement officials have also been told to require vendors to avoid packaging with single-use plastics.

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“With the passing of this legislation, we are joining a global effort to reduce waste, prioritize sustainability and protect our environment,” said the legislation’s sponsor Councilwoman Carmalitha Gumbs. “It is our hope that this measure will encourage residents to increase recycling and other waste-reduction practices, as well as motivate our business community to play a substantial role in making South Fulton a greener and more eco-friendly community.”

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While it might seem to make sense to separate and recycle all of your paper and plastic products, a lot of it cannot be recycled.

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