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Local government panel OKs bill to reverse prohibition on local plastic bag bans

A House panel has advanced legislation that would undo a state prohibition on local ordinances that ban retailers from using any type of bag — paper, plastic or reusable.

HF511, sponsored by Rep. Steve Elkins (DFL-Bloomington), was OK’d by the House Subcommittee on Local Government on Tuesday. Heading to the House Government Operations Committee, it would undo a measure passed by a Republican-controlled Legislature in 2017 and signed into law as part of a larger bill by then-Gov. Mark Dayton that aimed to halt cities from banning single-use plastic bags.

The local preemption bill nixed Minneapolis’ plastic bag ban just one day before it was set to take effect. Prohibition supporters said a patchwork of plastic bag policies would confuse consumers and hurt retailers.

Supporters of local ordinances that bar plastic bags cite the massive volume of single-use plastic that enters the waste stream and have said the bags are difficult to recycle.

Sen. Patricia Torres Ray (DFL-Mpls) sponsors a companion, SF1903, which awaits action by the Senate Local Government Committee.

 


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