February Bag Ban Update Brings Not So Great News

Latest News on Bag Bans in the United StatesLatest News on Bag Bans in the United States

There has been a lot of activity on the bag ban front and while we’re happy to announce some new bag bans and refocused efforts, there is also some not so great news to report. For the full rundown check out the map and follow the bag ban movement. Keep reading for an in depth look at some of the more recent bag ban developments.

Bag Bans Sweeping Coachella Valley

With bag bans already in place at Desert Hot Springs, Palm Springs, Indio and Palm Desert a ban of their own was something Cathedral City had considered. When there was talk of a California state-wide ban Cathedral City put their plans on hold, since the state ban would have achieved the same purpose.

Now that the future of the state-wide ban is in jeopardy officials in Cathedral City decided to move on their own ban. The ban will roll out in two phases. On February 22, 2016 plastic bags will be banned in large grocery stores. On August 22, 2016 the ban will become effective in smaller grocery stores, drug stores and pharmacies.

Bag Bans Face Uncertain Future in Arizona

Bag bans have had a rough go of things in Arizona. Bisbee was an early adopter of a bag ban back in 2012 and several other cities have considers bans or fees of their own. In early 2015 a law was passed that prevents cities from passing measures to regulate single-use plastic bags. A recent lawsuit claims this law is unconstitutional.

It turns out that the Arizona Legislature included two separate laws on one bill. The first law prevents cities from banning single-use plastic bags, Styrofoam and other containers. The second bill blocks cities from requiring businesses to disclose their energy usage. The original bill is now being broken apart into two separate bills. It is likely the lawsuit will be dropped, and the ban law will have to make its way through the Legislature a second time.

Wisconsin Considering Prohibiting Bag Bans

Unfortunately, it looks like Wisconsin is heading down a similar path as Arizona. A proposed bill would prohibit cities, counties, towns and villages from passing laws to regulate plastic bags, bottles, cups or other packaging used in restaurants or retail establishments. Many supporters of the bill do not believe in bans, but support recycling and education around efforts to increase recycling. Several Wisconsin towns have considered banning single-use plastic bags, and if this bill were to pass it would end those efforts.

New Proposal in Philadelphia

Philadelphia has had a long struggle in their efforts to ban or impose fees on single-use plastic bags. Several attempts going as far back as 2009 have failed. One law maker is planning to reintroduce a proposal to implement a fee on disposable plastic bags.

The apparent theme of this post is long-term efforts around bag legislation. We are really happy to report on Cathedral City’s ban, and we’re cautiously optimistic about the measures underway in Arizona, Wisconsin and Philadelphia. To see the full bag ban map go here. This map is a work in progress and we try to keep it up-to-date, but if you notice any locations missing let us know!

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