LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. (KOIN) -- Since the city of Portland banned single-use plastic bags in October 2011, there's been a major drop in the use of plastic materials many say are an environmental hazard.
Environment Oregon wants to expand that ban and collected signatures from residents in Lake Oswego, Beaverton and Tigard in support of an expanded ban.
The organization's state director, Sarah Higginbotham, and others are in Lake Oswego to push city council members to follow Portland's lead. Oregonians on average, they said, use more than 1.7 billion bags every year, a large contributor to the plastic pollution in waterways and oceans.
"(Plastic bags) are not easily recyclable. They pollute our waterways and eventually make their way out into the ocean," Higginbotham said. "They're a huge challenge for waterlife, too, whether it be birds or marine animals and we don't really need them."
In Lake Oswego, more than 750 people signed the petition, while 1700 did in Beaverton and more than 1200 in Tigard.
"Almost everyone agrees that nothing we use for only a few minutes should be allowed to pollute our environment for hundreds of years," she said.
Opponents of the bag ban argue customers should be allowed to make their own choice. A study after the Portland ban took effect showed 20% of people switched to reusable bags and the rest switched to paper bags -- driving paper consumption up.
From Newberg to Gresham to Camas to Southwest Portland, everything from schools to roads were shut down Monday due to cold weather ailments.
A Marion County sheriff's deputy injured during a shootout with a stolen-car suspect this past Friday is out of the hospital.
The 88-year-old Longview woman was found by staff early Friday outside her Washington retirement home. The coroner's office released its report Monday.