ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The City of St. Petersburg is holding a public hearing Thursday to talk about plastic bags. 

  • City to consider plastic bag fee to help protect environment
  • 5-cent fee for every plastic bag taken from store or restaurant
  • City leaders first considered a ban altogether

The city was first considering to ban plastic bags altogether.  They are now considering a 5-cent fee for every single use bag taken from a store or restaurant carry out. 

The idea is to help protect the environment. 

While plastic bags have become a real part of our lives, some worry, their convenience is costing us too much in the environment. 

When considering a ban altogether, council member Karl Nurse believed the change wouldn't be that difficult for residents, because they've made environmentally friendly lifestyle changes before. 

"Rather like curb side recycling, which for like a decade we were told was impossible. Once we got it implemented, there was about a several month phase in, and now it's just normal," Nurse said. 

It's estimated that each person uses about 500 plastic bags every year.  And how we use them isn't the problem, but what we do with them when we're done that's clogging up the system.

"Plastic bags jam up our sewer system. People throw them in the recycle container, and they actually jam up the converyors enough that cities have put signs on billboards asking people not to throw their plastic bags in that," Nurse explained.

Resident Danny Morris said he is not worried about losing plastic bags because there are other options right in front of us.

"We have paper. We could also do the decomposable plastic bags that we use for poop bags that we normally have. Those are great options. I think it's time to let plastic bags go," Morris said. 

City leaders plan to meet Thursday afternoon to discuss the future of plastic bags. We will keep you posted on what the city decides.