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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 12, 2017 03:33 PM
From: Representative Brian Sims
To: All House members
Subject: Legislation Regarding the Use of Plastic Bags
In the near future, I will be reintroducing legislation from last session (House Bill 1431) that would impose a fee on the use of plastic bags at checkout counters of retail establishments.

Specifically, this legislation would provide for a fee of two cents on each nonreusable plastic bag used by purchasers of consumer goods at retail establishments that have annual gross sales in excess of $1 million. Under this proposal, 50 percent of revenue from the fee would be returned to retail establishments for the improvement of internal recycling practices and 50 percent would be used by the Commonwealth for state recycling programs.

Plastic bags are nonbiodegradable, so it can take up to 1,000 years for them to decompose. They also contribute to air pollution because they are made from polyethylene, a petroleum byproduct. In addition, many plastic bags end up in our oceans, causing harm or death to marine wildlife that ingest the bags or get caught in them. With that said, I believe we should do all we can to prevent the detrimental effects that plastic bags have on the environment.

I hope you will join me in supporting this important measure.

Introduced as HB1120