Assembly drops plastic bag ban
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RICHMOND Virginia lawmakers aren ready to get rid of plastic bags at supermarkets and other stores, at least not if retailers and the plastics industry continue to have a say in the matter.
Legislation aimed at ending the use of disposable plastic bags at stores has been pulled at the request of retail and industry officials, who say they would rather encourage people to return bags to their local stores for recycling.
Another measure to require stores to charge a nickel for each paper or plastic bag provided to customers never got out of subcommittee.
is slow to change, slow to add fees and slow to even consider anything that could be perceived as anti business, even though it good for the environment, said the sponsor, Delegate Adam Ebbin, Arlington Democrat.
The bills sought to curb the use of the plastic bags because they litter roadsides, get stuck in trees and choke or strangle animals that eat or get tangled up in the bags.
Numerous retailers and supermarkets have been se Toms Shoes Outlet lling their own canvas or mesh bags, and some groceries give back a few cents for each bag brought in by shoppers. But most oppose a plastic bag ban, saying that it would be troublesome for businesses to quit offering them and alternative bags are more expensive.
Lisa Mastny, who tracks consumption trends at global research group Worldwatch Institute, wasn surprised by the legislation failure.
basically getting at the heart of consumer culture and trying to turn it around, which is a radical idea in some ways, in this country at least, she said.
Delegate Joseph Morrissey, Henrico Democrat, proposed a plastic bag ban after seeing how Ireland reduced its plastic bag consumption by 90 percent when it taxed each bag. Other countries, including China, India, Bangladesh and many in Europe, also have restricted plastic bags.
But Mr. Morrissey pu Toms Shoes Outlet lled his legislation at the request of the Virginia Plastic Bag Coalition, a group that includes state and local officials along with several retail and national plastics industry representatives, who have lobbied across the nation against restrictions on plastic bags.
The coalition wanted to see how a recycling initiative in Isle of Wight County fares, he said. The plastic will be collected and used by a manufacturer of faux wood products. Mr. Morrissey plans to introduce the bill again next year.
Sen. Patricia Ticer, Alexandria Democrat, withdrew an identical version of the bill, which originated with state Toms Shoes Outlet cotton farmers who found the bags blowing into their fields and contaminating their bales.
Made of pet Toms Shoes Outlet rochemical derivatives, plastic bags take hundreds of years to decompose. Many end up outside landfills, instead getting carried into the air and littering the environment.
Mr. Ebbin bill would have required stores to charge customers 5 cents for each disposable plastic or paper bag they use at the store, and the money would go toward a Chesapeake Bay cleanup fund.