The Star Tribune this morning reports:
A proposal to ban Minneapolis stores from handing out plastic bags — and require them to charge customers for paper bags — has cleared an important hurdle at City Hall.
Monday, following a lengthy public hearing, the City Council’s Health, Environment and Community Engagement committee voted 4-0 to forward the plan to the full council. It appears the plan may have enough support to pass the 13-member council; in addition to the four committee members who voted in favor of the plan, two other council members attended the meeting to voice their support. A fifth committee member, Council Member Andrew Johnson, expressed support for the plan but abstained from voting because he intends to work on an amendment that would make the policy more “consumer and business friendly.”’ Click here for the full story.
This is mighty fine news that I hope the full city council passes … and then the whole State of Minnesota needs similar legislation. California’s currently stalled plastic bag law was prompted by several earlier municipal plastic bag laws. State wide regulation made sense to businesses, regulators, environmentalists and legislators. But the California plastic bag law that was passed by the legislature, signed by Governor Brown and had been planned to be effected for large grocery chains and pharmacies on July 1, 2015 and for convenience and liquor stores on July 1, 2016 has been suspended pending a referendum vote this coming November 2016.
California stores would have been required to offer customers recycled paper bags or bags made of compostable material at a cost of at least 10 cents. Folks on the state’s food-assistance program would not have to pay for the earth friendly bags. The state of California was slated to provide $2 million in state-backed loans to help businesses transition to re-useables. But last year, plastic bag manufacturing industry opponents to the new law gathered enough valid voter signatures to force a November ballot referendum question on the law. (More on this here.)
For the past three years Democratic Visions has been running this sly parody of a PBS nature documentary. It was produced by Heal the Bay (Santa Monica) and is about the life cycle of a plastic bag and is voiced by Jeremy Irons. We’ve tagged it with a Minnesota-based epilogue.