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Butte resident requests ban on single-use plastic bags

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Posted at 3:20 PM, Sep 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-13 17:20:55-04

BUTTE — One Butte resident is asking Butte officials to support measures that would ban the use of single-use plastic bags in the county.

“It sits there in our landfill and then breaks down into a microplastic, which then ends up in our waterways. It could end up in our garden, our soil—it impacts the environment in that way because it really never goes away,” said Julie Jaksha.

Jaksha is asking the county to encourage businesses and consumers to use paper bags, reusable bags, or eco-friendly bags.

“Three hundred and sixty-five plastic bags per year per person end up in the landfill and in comparison, in Denmark, it’s four per person that end up in the landfill per year,” she said.

Some local businesses like Eco Montana out of Butte and Bozeman already avoid using plastic bags by distributing compostable food service items.

“They’re sturdy, they don’t leak. It’s come a long ways in the last 10 years and they’re not as expensive as everybody thinks they are and in some cases, they’re very similarly prices to plastic,” said Heidi Noyes, founder of Eco Montana.

A recently passed state law prohibits cities and counties from placing bans on things like plastics, but Jaksha wants all of Montana to ban plastic bags.

“I think it’s important for us to think about the future, you know, hopefully my kids, my grandkids will grow up in Butte and I want a clean, healthy environment for them to do that,” said Jaksha.

The request will go before the Council of Commissioners at their meeting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.