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State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan, D-Youngstown, said the bill will put Ohio on a backward track. “Plastic bags take centuries to decompose,” she said. “In a few short years, we will have more plastic in our oceans than fish.”
The Ohio Municipal League said the bill is an unconstitutional infringement on home-rule authority. It also noted in written testimony that no Ohio city has taxed such items and “in our view, this bill poses a solution looking for a problem.”
“Regulating bags can mitigate harmful impacts to oceans, rivers, lakes, forests and the wildlife that inhabit them. Reducing bag use can also relieve pressure on landfills and waste management,” according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
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NCSL reported that across the country, several cities and some states have moved to ban single-use plastic bags or impose fees on them to discourage use.
At least 73 bills have been introduced in state legislatures regarding the use of plastic bags by retailers, according to the NCSL.
State Rep. Kent Smith, D-Euclid, argued against the bill, saying Lake Erie communities need options for paying for clean up and cutting plastic waste. He quoted a study that found 22 million pounds of plastics enter the Great Lakes each year, including 5.5-million pounds in Lake Erie.
The bill now moves to the Ohio Senate for consideration.