The Anchorage Assembly approved two changes to the city’s new plastic bag ban, exempting restaurants from charging customers for alternative bags and repealing the requirement that businesses offer alternative bags to customers.
The ordinance went into effect Sept. 15, banning businesses from handing out plastic bags.
On Oct. 8, the Anchorage Assembly voted to tweak the ban, said Ira Slomski-Pritz, a special assistant in the mayor’s office.
The original ordinance said retailers “shall” provide alternative bags. That language was changed to “may provide” alternative bags.
“The Assembly didn’t want to force businesses who weren’t planning on providing bags to provide bags,” Slomski-Pritz said.
Think of places like Costco, he said.
Slomski-Pritz said businesses that opt to provide paper bags will still have to charge a minimum of 10 cents for them.
The Anchorage Assembly also voted to exempt restaurants, food sellers and markets from charging a fee for alternative bags, according to the updated version of the ordinance.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported that the Anchorage Assembly exempted restaurants and other food businesses from the plastic bag ban. The Assembly voted to exempt restaurants, food sellers and markets from charging a fee for alternative bags.