Council Taking No Further Action On Bag Ban Issue

Councilor Pete Sheehey discusses the plastic bag ban issue at last Tuesday’s meeting. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Audience members take turns speaking for or against the plastic bag ban issue. County Manager Harry Burgess and County Attorney Rebecca Ehler listen in foreground. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Staff Report

The Los Alamos County Council voted 7-0 at last Tuesday’s meeting to take no further action on the plastic bag ban issue.

Councilor Rick Reiss made the motion, seconded by Councilor James Chrobocinski, that Council:

  • acknowledge the excellent work of the Environmental Sustainability Board in gathering public information regarding plastic bags;
  • that Council acknowledge the education efforts of merchants regarding recycling, and acknowledge;
  • encourage the continuing education efforts of the County Solid Waste Department; and
  • take no further action (on the bag issue).

County Council Chair Kristin Henderson calls for a vote on the plastic bag ban. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Prior to the final vote, Councilor Pete Sheehey made a motion that Council acknowledge the original petition, thank the petitioners, all those who contributed to the discussion, and the Environmental Sustainability Board, and take the following action: A Resolution

  • The Council thanks the citizens and business of Los Alamos for their efforts to reuse and recycle shopping bags and other materials.
  • Council encourages the Environmental Sustainability Board and staff to continue their efforts to educate the public about the benefits of recycling.
  • The Council suggests that all Los Alamos businesses consider a separate charge for each bag provided to customers. This reminds all that bags cost money and resources, and fairly avoids charging those who choose to bring their own bags.
  • The Council asks all Los Alamos businesses to consider participating in bag recycling programs, such is offered at Smith’s and the Los Alamos food Co-op in order to make it easier for their customers to recycle.

Sheehey’s motion failed for lack of a second.

Los Alamos resident Rose Stephens spoke during public comment in opposition of the plastic bag ban. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Council Vice Chair David Izraelevitz made a substitute motion, to the motion made by Reiss, that Council support the Environmental Sustainability Boards recommendation for staff to create an educational campaign to reduce the use of single use bags. His motion also failed for lack of a second.

In other action taken at last Tuesday’s meeting, Council unanamously approved a Friendly Amendment by Council Vice Chair David Izraelevitz  that Council direct County Manager Harry Burgess to establish a temporary Manhattan Project National Historical Park Visitor Center, and as appropriate, ancillary Park Service support space, in the Community Building space (formerly occupied by the United States Forest Service).

The County Council is holding its monthly work session at 7 p.m. today at Fire Station 3 in White Rock. The meeting is open to the public.

County Council members from left, Susan O’Leary, Steven Girrens, Vice Chair David Izraelevitz, Chair Kristin Henderson, Rick Reiss, Pete Sheehey and James Chrobocinski. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

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