Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has signed a new law that makes it illegal for any city, town, or county in the state to pass bans on single-use plastic bags. According to the Arizona Republic, Senate Bill 1241 was signed into law by Ducey on Monday, which also makes it illegal for any part of the state to charge a fee to shoppers for paper bags.
There are some places in the state that have already issued bans on plastic bags, and they are still allowed to continue with their ordinances. One of those is Bisbee, which banned plastic bags in 2014, according to the Sierra Vista Herald. The city charges a $0.05 fee for paper bags, which was opposed by many residents at a recent city council meeting. But Councilwoman Serena Sullivan said that residents are mostly in favor of the ban.
“They just don’t want the reporting and the $0.05 fee. So I think that would make the majority of the people happy. We could probably just amend that ordinance rather than having to go through a vote.”
One Arizona city that was looking to ban plastic bags before this new state law went into effect is Tempe. Council member Lauren Kuby told KJZZ that the city is looking to encourage residents to not use plastic bags as a means of saving money, noting that around 50 million are distributed each year and only about 5 percent get recycled.
“We spend $200,000 a year because of the pollution of single-use plastic bags. That’s a hefty sum we’d like to have in our general fund so we can put it into parks and other taxpayer long-form items.”
Kuby added that the city plans to get in contact with local businesses about reducing or putting a complete halt on the use of plastic bags.
“We’ll start with the largest consumers of those bags or distributors, probably the supermarkets, and talk to them about the large-scale savings that they can experience if they help to reduce plastic pollution in our city.”
Many places across America have already passed or proposed bans on single-use plastic bags. As the Inquisitr previously reported, roughly 115 cities and counties in the nation have passed laws that ban the use of plastic bags.
California was looking to become the first state in the nation to ban plastic bags. Its law was scheduled to go into effect later this year. But as the Sacramento Bee reports, that law has been postponed, and voters will get the opportunity to vote on it in the 2016 elections.
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