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Indiana Senate Approves Bag Bans and Promotes Use of Reusable Grocery Bags

The Indiana Senate yesterday approved a bill that will prevent cities and towns in the state from implementing any sort of measure to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags. The bill, sponsored and filed by Senator Brent Steele (R, Bedford), will make it illegal for city governments in Indiana to pass any bill or ordinance that will restrict or tax the use of single-use plastic bags, which frequently promote the use of [reusable shopping bags](http://www.lapopdesigns.com/) or tote bags. Steele admits that œbusinesses and industry groups” are opposed to any regulation of bag use.

According to leading environmental watchdogs, single use plastic bags, such as those commonly offered at grocery and convenience store checkout registers, are a major pollution problem. Because they don–t biodegrade, they take up an inordinate amount of space in landfills and are choking the ocean and killing wildlife, these groups say. In addition, research has shown that plastic grocery bags can leech harmful chemicals into the surrounding soil and groundwater, creating public health hazards. And, say many critics of plastic shopping bags, there are very few recycling centers that accept them. Those that do are frequently far away and far more expensive than standard recycling centers. The cost of recycling and disposing of single use plastic bags can put a strain on city budgets.

Numerous cities around the country have already implemented anti-plastic bag policies, which range from taxing the plastic bags to banning them outright. Many cities include a provision to promote or provide [reusable grocery bags](http://www.amazon.com/Pop-Expandable-Design-Eco-Friendly-Lightweight/dp/B00UHAMMDG/) or shopping tote bags in place of the single-use bags. These measures are generally opposed by œgrass roots” groups criticizing the restriction on their freedom of choice or citing œexcessive regulation.”

The real root of the opposition, though, says one local business owner, whose company distributes a line of reusable shopping bags, is money. The single use plastic bags are less expensive for retailers than other options. That–s why cities in other states have incentivized grocers to make the switch by allowing retailers to collect a bag tax from consumers “ usually a 5-cent fee per plastic bag used “ and keep it to offset the costs.

Indiana is not the first state to consider banning bag bans. In 2015, Arizona legislators passed a law prohibiting cities and towns from banning bag, and a similar law is making its way through the Missouri legislature.

Posted by on 26. February 2016. Filed under Computer & Software. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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