ALBUQUERQUE, NM—The Clean and Green Retail Ordinance, which prohibits the use of single-use plastic bags by certain retailers in the City of Albuquerque, was passed by City Council and signed by Mayor Keller in 2019. The ordinance originally took effect January 1, 2020, although enforcement was temporarily suspended in March 2020 because of health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was then reinstated on August 1, 2021. While the ordinance itself does not specify types of plastic bags that could be allowed, the City Solid Waste Division decided to define single-use plastic as anything less than 2.25 ml. This allows retailers to give away thicker plastic bags that take longer to decompose, creating more plastic use and waste in Albuquerque.
26 local organizations have signed on to a letter asking Mayor Keller to direct Solid Waste to change this language and honor the intent of the ordinance to remove plastic bags from retail stores in Albuquerque. Read the letter here.
“As a climate leader, we feel that this should be an easy ask to Mayor Keller, who has vocally supported reducing plastic bags in our city. Albuquerque parents are counting on the Mayor to uphold his promise to fight climate change and protect our children’s health.” —Celerah Hewes, New Mexico Field Consultant, Moms Clean Air Force
“As a mother, I’m deeply disappointed to see thousands of thick plastic bags distributed at retailers across Albuquerque. The goal of the Clean and Green Ordinance was to reduce plastic, not increase plastic production. I am calling on Mayor Tim Keller to fix this thick plastic bag loophole and uphold the intention of the ordinance to reduce plastic in our community, protecting our air, water, and soils for future generations.” —Anni Hanna, Founder, NM Climate Justice
“Taking a stand to remove plastics from our community helps everyone to be healthier. We are not only cleaning our environment but removing the harmful toxins that plastic bags put into our water and soil. I am asking that Mayor Tim Keller direct Solid Waste to fix this loophole and remove harmful thick plastic bags from being used in stores.” —Ashley McKenna, No More Plastic Bags Albuquerque