Bisbee's Bag Ban Begins

By  Stina Sieg
April 22, 2014

(Photo by Stina Sieg - KJZZ)
Bisbee's plastic bag ban took effect on Earth Day, April 22. Gretchen Bear (left) and Carrie Behan get ready to distribute free, reusable bags throughout downtown.

It’s Earth Day – and the official first day of Bisbee’s ban on plastic bags.

Bisbee made history about eight months ago when the city council became the first in the state to approve such a ban. Now, local officials and some residents are working to make the transition away from plastic as smooth as possible.

Jenny Druckman is with a group that spent the morning on the main streets of downtown Bisbee handing out hundreds of free, reusable bags to businesses and shoppers. She helped create the ban, and she said she hopes it’s a sign of things to come.  

"If we can make this change and show other communities that it can be done, then I think it’s going to just spark a shift in consciousness," she said. 

Though enthusiastically supported by the mayor, the ban has had its detractors. The chamber of commerce unsuccessfully sought a delay on the ban, and some business owners say it will hurt their bottom line. Paper bags are still legal in Bisbee, at a cost of at least five cents each.