Students prompt City of Mesa to get rid of plastic bags and go green

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MESA – Plastic bags are bad for the environment and those with perhaps the biggest stake in the planet's future want to do something about it.

Mesa city officials are considering doing away with the plastic bags altogether.

If the ban becomes a reality, Mesa would be the latest United States city to jump on the green bandwagon.

San Francisco has already “bagged” the plastic ones from stores and Washington D.C. now charges for each bag.

Instead of coming from city hall, the idea came from inside the classroom. Jamie Lavender tells 3TV, “This is the original plastic bag; this takes 300 to 400 years to decompose.”

A group of 8th-graders at Rhodes Junior High School came up with the idea during their Project Citizen Class. “It’s hurting the animals, it’s hurting a lot of us, it's not something you want to look at every day, seeing plastic bags littered along the highways.”

The students sat down with the Mesa City Council to pitch the idea it stuck.

Councilwoman Dina Biggs is having a special committee look at the issue. Among the proposals is banning the bags altogether, switching to bio-degradable plastic bags or tacking on a 5 cent per bag surcharge. The third idea is the one that has become most controversial.

Supporters say that is the point so that people will want to go green. The various plastic bag ideas are just proposals and several Mesa council members are having staff members look at all the options before putting forth any concrete legislation.