Plastic ban bagged

    The measure has been two years in the making, but Council members say industry representatives killed it with last minute lobbying.

    Philadelphia City Council has defeated a bill to ban plastic bags after giving the measure preliminary approval several weeks ago. The measure has been two years in the making, but Council members say industry representatives killed it with last minute lobbying.

    Listen:

    [audio: 090618spplastic.mp3]

    Councilman Jim Kenney says lobbyists from the petrochemical and supermarket industries pressured his colleagues, who had just weeks before supported the bill. Kenney says Shoprite supermarket was one of the ban’s strongest opponents.

    Kenney: I think the people in this city and this region, who care about the environment should not spend their money at shoprite. Should look for someplace else to go that cares about the condition of our town and the condition of our environment and spend their money elsewhere.

    Kenney said he will spend his summer doing some lobbying of his own, garnering the support of the city’s environmentalists to organize a boycott of the supermarket.

    Councilman Darrell Clarke, who hesitated before voting no, praised Shoprite for being one of the few supermarkets willing to build in poor neighborhoods.

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