Placing purchased items in cost free plastic bags at retail outlets in St. Croix County may be a thing of the past if a proposal by Buck Malick, District 6 Supervisor, gains headway.

Malick’s proposal said, “Effective Jan. 1, 2015, no retailer in St. Croix County shall provide free plastic bags, except for the original packaging for customer purchases.”

Newsletter signup for email alerts

He referred the proposal to the community development committee at the end of the board’s regular Jan. 7 meeting.

The supervisor said his reasons included the fact that plastic bags are harmful to the environment, customers have accepted reusable shopping bags and the bags are expensive to retailers both for original purchases and attempts to recycle.

“Retailers could do this voluntarily without any government requirement,” Malick said. “It is my sense customers are ready for it, so long as they can buy reusable bags if they forget theirs at home or in the car.”

Malick said the committee had some light discussion about the proposal at its last meeting.

If the proposal gets wings through further discussion and research, it is expected to go to the Board of Supervisors for action in April.

Malick said some may question why such a proposal should start at the local municipal government level, rather than with the state legislatures.

“We’ve seen a number of good ideas come at the county level, before the state acts,” he said.