City, county officials to study possible ban on plastic bags at Iowa City landfill

(Kate Ter Haar/Flickr)
(Kate Ter Haar/Flickr)
Nick Fetty | July 1, 2016

Over the coming months, officials with the City of Iowa City and Johnson County will conduct research to determine the potential effects of a plastic bag ban at the Iowa City landfill.

Plastic bags account for about 360 tons – or 0.3 percent – of the Iowa City landfill’s annual intake. As part of the city’s Waste Minimizing Strategy, officials aim to not only reduce the number of plastic bags in the landfill but also cardboard and electronic devices.

The idea of a plastic bag ban has been floated in Iowa City multiple times in recent years. The Iowa City Council discussed a plastic bag ban in 2008, after San Francisco implemented a first-in-the-nation ban, however an Iowa City ban was never implemented. 100 Grannies for a Liveable Future – an Iowa City-based advocacy group – supported a plastic bag ban in 2012, but efforts were ultimately unsuccessful. Another unsuccessful attempt to ban plastic bags in Iowa City occurred in 2014.

Marshall County was the first and is currently the only place in the state that has banned plastic bags after a 2009 decision by the Marshall County Board of Supervisors.

To find out about plastic bag legislation in your area, visit

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