ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s been on-again and off-again then back on again. The plastic bag ban in Albuquerque. City Councilor Brook Bassan wants to toss Albuquerque’s plastic bag ban for good. “To me, we’re adding a regressive tax to a lot of members in our community who can’t afford to buy these bags,” Bassan said.

The Clean and Green Retail Ordinance took effect at the beginning of 2020 but was quickly suspended due to the pandemic. It was reinstated last summer. Under the ordinance, businesses can offer substitutes such as paper grocery bags or other reusable bags that are more than four mils thick. “If they do have these reusable bags, if they don’t wash them they could be causing more of a health issue for themselves and their family,” Bassan said.


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According to the councilwoman, business owners have also said that the supply chain shortage is putting a burden on their establishments. “Businesses aren’t even able to go and purchase for their consumers, stitched reusable bags because there’s such a demand and there’s not enough supply,” Bassan said.

Shoppers are mixed on the issue. “It became a big hassle every time you go to get groceries you don’t have a bag, it’s ridiculous,” said shopper Francisco Rodrigues.

“I feel like I would prefer for them to keep the paper bags, I don’t have any problem with them,” said another shopper, Lindsey Sigmon.

Bassan’s fellow city councilman, Pat Davis, sees things differently. “I’m excited to see that the city is moving forward. businesses and customers are adapting, we’re doing something to be a leader in conservation and our green economy,” Davis said.

Davis co-sponsored the ordinance and says there are bigger issues to focus on right now. “I think voters would much rather see the city council focus on moving forward on issues like crime, public safety, homelessness, than rehashing two or three years of old debates,” Davis said.

He says the ordinance needs more time before making any drastic changes. “I think there’s a need to let it work and let retailers and customers help us determine what the next step for that law is,” Davis said. The ban does not apply to restaurants, farmers’ markets, or dry cleaners.