- Associated Press - Saturday, July 5, 2014

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Sioux City officials have extended a survey available to consumers and retailers as the northwestern Iowa city considers ways to restrict businesses’ use of plastic bags.

In June, the city launched a monthlong survey at sioux-city.org asking people and businesses how they use plastic bags. More than 460 have taken the survey, the Sioux City Journal reported (https://bit.ly/1m361Iu ) Saturday.

City environmental services analyst Melissa Campbell said the survey was scheduled to end Saturday but will be extended at least two more weeks because of the strong response.

City officials haven’t yet tallied the responses for limiting plastic bag use and those against it, Campbell said, but she did offer that “we’ve had a lot more positive comments than I expected.”

A possible ordinance likely would not contain an outright ban on plastic bags. It would more likely impose a fee on plastic bags or some other measure to encourage retailers to issue reusable bags.

The push to create an ordinance began after people complained about plastic bags getting stuck in fences and trees and littering streets and parks.

In the survey, businesses are asked what types of bags are offered and if customers are asked to decide between paper or plastic. The consumer survey asks shoppers what type of bag they typically use, and whether they reuse, recycle or throw away plastic bags.

The city’s Environmental Advisory Board is scheduled to meet later this month to discuss possible ordinances, Campbell said. The board will use examples solicited from other communities that have imposed plastic bag bans, like Chicago and Austin, Texas.

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Information from: Sioux City Journal, https://www.siouxcityjournal.com

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