Gov. Doug Ducey has signed a bill that prevents towns and cities from banning single-use plastic shopping bags. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, supports say such bans are costly to businesses, but opponents say they’re more costly to the environment.
The law prevents bans or fees on the use of plastic bags or any disposable container. Backers were concerned that such bans would interfere with businesses’ flexibility and decision making.
Opponents of the law say plastic bags increase greenhouse gas emissions and create litter as well as clog recycling equipment and overload landfills. They believe such bans should be left to officials at the local level.
Several major U-S cities and the entire state of California have adopted plastic bag bans in the last few years. Bisbee is so far the only city in Arizona to do so, but the new law will override the ban. Before Gov. Ducey signed the bill, the City of Flagstaff was exploring options for limiting bag use.
A secondary part of the new law bars towns, cities and counties from requiring businesses to report energy use.