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Arizona's new governor signs law to ban plastic bag bans

Arizona's new governor Doug Ducey has been busy during his first few months in office. On April 13, Gov. Ducey signed Senate Bill 1241 prohibiting Arizona cities from banning plastic bags. The small tourist town in Southern Arizona, Bisbee, already bans plastic bags, and a plastic bag ban has been on Flagstaff's City Council agenda for several months. I guess this new law settles the question for that city.

According to several news reports, the bill's intent was to stop Tempe, home to Arizona State University, from banning plastic grocery bags. The bill also bans cities and towns from charging fees (return deposits) for returning "auxiliary containers," such as reusable bags, boxes, beverage cans, bottles, cups and containers made out of cloth, plastic, extruded polystyrene, glass, aluminum, cardboard and other materials used to transport materials and food.

The main argument was, of course, that plastic is the primary polluter of the ocean. Last time I checked, the nearest ocean is about 500 miles due west of Arizona. Of course, there's always the possibility that if (or when) California falls into the ocean when the next Big One hits, Arizona will have oceanfront property, and then we might have a problem with plastic.

Recycling is ubiquitous in this country. Grocery stores offer recycling bins for returning plastic bags to be made into park benches, marine docks and myriad other products. Every time I try to recycle my plastic bags (including dry cleaning bags, bread bags and so forth), the recycling bins for bags are full to overflowing. That tells me that most people really want to recycle their plastic bags.

Getting rid of plastic will not get rid of the litter problem! I've said this many times and I'll continue to preach it! Getting rid of plastic will only create problems with other types of materials, as we're already seeing.

I congratulate Gov. Ducey of the great state of Arizona for his common sense to ban the bag bans that attack legal, legitimate products.

TAGS: Packaging
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