Alaska Life Hack: 15 day countdown to Anchorage plastic bag ban


Ready. Set. …

On Sept. 15, the Anchorage will be the latest community in Alaska to ban single-use bags that merchants have used for decades to help shoppers move their purchases from the checkout stand to their homes.

The Anchorage bag ban was passed by the Anchorage Assembly last year, but implementation was delayed over the concern for for businesses with a large inventory of bags.

Sellers may provide non-plastic bags, such as paper, but must charge a minimum of $0.10 per bag. This is intended to change behavior and encourage more people to bring their canvas, woven and other multi-use bags to the grocery store with them.

Wasilla has had a plastic bag ban in place for over a year, but allows bags to be given out by stores if they are 2.25 mil or thicker, such as would be used if a shopper purchased clothing from an apparel shop. Stores may provide customers with any size recyclable paper or reusable carryout bags.

Other communities with bans include Bethel, Fairbanks, Homer, Hooper Bay, Kodiak, Palmer, and Unalaska.

Legislation to create a statewide tax on plastic bags was been offered in the House in 2018 by Anchorage Democrats Rep. Andy Josephson and Harriet Drummond, but didn’t advance. This year it was offered in HB 81 by Josephson, who is concerned about plastics, and micro-plastics  in the environment.
Are these bans effective or just virtue signaling?
“As important as banning single-use plastic bags is in terms of reducing it as a source, it’s not going to change the world,” Mark Murray, executive director of Californians Against Waste told National Geographic. “The main point, frankly, is to communicate to policy makers, the public, and to the industry that we’ve got to do something serious to reduce plastic packaging and if you all can’t figure out how to do it, we’re going to start banning your products one at a time.”
So, yes, it’s a bit of virtue signaling.


  1. If merchants want to charge 10 cents for a paper bag thats fine with me. But the city requiring the charge to change behavior to a more socially approved norm is disturbing.

    Its just another sin tax which is all the rage these days. A way to mandate and manipulate behavior without actually prohibiting it. The bag charge is a small issue itself but it is just one more offense in a long list of behaviors governments want to eliminate (without really doing so directly) by making the behavior more expensive.

    I don’t see a problem with paper bags. If it is left along side the road or anywhere else if its not picked up it will decompose into compost in short order.

    They could have just banned the plastic bags…period. But no. They had to take a little bit more. Sounds like many of the plans liberals are coming up with to discourage your right to own a firearm.

    • I know calling them “liberals” is a habit. But they’re not liberals anymore. There’s nothing liberal about them. They are leftists.

    • So true, why can’t people see this and stand up for history? out with religion, out with values and morals! We are so screwed. Think about what it’s going to be like for the next generation. So scary. I pray for guidance.

  2. With the utmost respect to all of the “save the environment” folks in the legislature and locally, you might want to focus on the lack of oil revenue , the high muni taxes in the bowl, the high crime rate, the terrible educational scores on the school system, families leaving Alaska and last but not least

    The rapidly growing homeless problem

  3. Environmentalists screwed the pooch on this one. The University of Arizona tested reusable (woven) bags and found over 50% to be contaminated with E. coli. They can be washed, but most people don’t. Meat one time and produce the next. San Francisco and other cities that have had plastic bag bans for years have had an increase in ER visits due to infectious conditions. What is needed is a change in peoples ‘ mindsets, not mandating what they can or cannot use to carry their groceries

  4. People from California and other liberals are committing a fraud in the people. Liked in California they been plastic straws but have streets of crap, no I mean literally crap, needless etc, hey why didn’t they ban plastic needles?? Now they are bringing their nonsense logic to Alaska. Oh and trying to TAX us on plastic bags -please! People wake up, liberal idiot ideas, heck they even lack the ability to prioritize what will return the most value for the least effort, so they pic plastic bags?? I tell you what, address the homeless issue in Anchorage then talk to me about plastic bags.

  5. The sad thing is that the overall environmental impacts will increase, i.e. the replacement for plastic bags will be worse. Regular LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene) plastic bags, when properly disposed of in landfills, have a lower environmental impact overall than any of the reusable bags. Considering total life-cycle environmental impacts, a cotton reusable bag would need to be used 7,100 times to equal the impact of using disposable plastic bags, and most other paper or synthetic options would need to be reused 50 to 100 times.

    This analysis is from a Danish study on the topic linked below:

    Most communities just go ahead and listen to the hype instead of studying it and making rational decisions. This study also details how many times a bag would need to be reused in order to reduce the environmental impacts for all indicators.

    See my full answer here:

    • that Danish study appears to be well done. I found the end of life scenarios. interesting. Their study dealt with incineration in all 3 scenarios. They added a factor for energy production and heat from the incineration. I am pretty sure plastic bags in AK. end up in the landfills as trash. Their is no end of life value added. Only more trash and litter. Count me as a liberal who doesn’t see less trash in the world as a bad thing.

  6. What about the plastic wrap they use on pallets. They saran wrap the whole pallet load and where does that plastic go? I reuse plastic bags to carry a lot of stuff, even water.

  7. Whew! Just in time! I feel so much safer now that those dreadful plastic bags will be gone. I’ll still get swarmed by the throngs of street beggars outside the store, but at least the bags are gone.
    It’s interesting that the environmentalists wanted paper bags gone first – and ran the logging industry out of Alaska. Everything went plastic. Now plastic is the enemy and we have to go canvas or whatever…. until they discover the next hidden evil within those… control control control…..

  8. “…….we’re going to start banning your products one at a time.”
    The little facist snoot, pride cometh before the fall.

  9. I was at the Fairbanks Safeway on College last week. It was as if they all had a meeting and had the checkers asking if you want to purchase their bags. Which they now have at the stands in an obvious place. They cost over three bucks!! I make weekly trips to the stores, and reuse our bags at home. However I will not be buying twenty bags to do this at a hefty cost. Notice these are Anchorage Democrats pushing this and we need to stop it. Paper is fine unless it’s raining. But to actually expect folks to bring in their own bags or buy them for a ridiculous amount is crazy. These bans are from the left moving into our state making trouble… I will not be conforming to this.. Until every town, every state every where has banned plastic bags this is nothing more than more liberal bs to wade thru. By the way, Soldotna Alaska has a pathetic ban too that folks are figuring out how to go around. They shop in Kenai lol

  10. The eco-fascists created the term “single-use plastic bag” to push their agenda, which is based on neither science or fact. We have fished and dipnetted on the Kenai River for years and have encountered only a handful of the plastic bags as pollution during all those years. And Suzanne fell squarely into their trap, using the term in the first line of her article. We re-use the bags many, many ways in our household. I’d like to see a running list of uses other households put these “single-use” bags to.

  11. Can you please release the names of the politicians that made this disastrous of a decision, so I can write them a letter as a furious citizen?

    To the grocery stores- people will buy way less things at your store now knowing they cannot use bags. I hope you really get with the program that these politicians need to be voted out of office.

  12. Better yet. How about we support any stores that would be willing to reject this nonsense, and continue to offer these bags. After all what would the eco-fascists in power do? Send in SWAT teams? APD in MRAPS? National Guard? Meanwhile, these same ‘whatever you want to call them’ are working hard to nullify our elections, and undermine our republic. How much more of this are we willing to accept? And when do we become citizens again and not subjects?

  13. Wonder what would happen if merchants and customers said to hell with the Anchorage plastic bag fatwah and refused to comply?
    What if merchants and customers were prepared to invoke jury nullification in trials against heinous plastic-baggers?
    Anchorage sets records for violent crimes, property crimes, drug crimes… things are so bad the mayor even gave the citizenry a choice between snow removal and law enforcement, so why would anyone give a microscopic damn about plastic bags?
    Forget “virtue signaling”, whatever that is.
    When the holy plastic bag ban is enforced with equal fervor against bums and bum camps, maybe productive citizens will take it seriously.

  14. Why is everyone griping? You voted them into office along with the do nothing mayor. Keep staying away from the ballot box and you will only get more of the same.

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