Colorado may become first US state to ban plastic bags

13 February 2009 23:26  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Colorado is considering a bill that could make it the first US state to ban plastic bags at supermarkets and other large stores, the advocacy group Better Bags Colorado said on Friday.

The proposal, Senate Bill 156, passed by a state Senate committee in a 4-3 vote split along party lines, would be enacted in 2012. Smaller stores and franchise operations would not be impacted.

All three Republicans on the committee voted against the bill, saying it would cause an increased use of paper bags, which they said take more energy and water to make than plastic bags.

State Sen Jennifer Veiga (Democrat-Denver) is the bill’s sponsor. She said that plastic bags made with petroleum were worse for the environment and that her intent was for shoppers to tote reusable bags, not paper.

According to the Associated Press (AP), the ban’s supporters argued to the committee that it was necessary to change people’s habits regarding the use of reusable bags.

While no statewide bans exist to ban plastic bags, city ordinances are in place in the California cities of Santa Monica, San Francisco and Oakland that ban all or almost all plastic bags, according to Better Bags Colorado.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) has maintained that "switching back to paper bags increases greenhouse gas emissions, energy use and waste". The trade group supports plastic-bag recycling programmes.

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By: Ben DuBose
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