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Bill banning local plastic bag restrictions passes Senate

February 23, 2016

The Indiana Senate has approved a measure banning local governments from taxing or restricting the use of disposable plastic bags by retailers, including grocery stores.

The full Senate voted 38-12 Tuesday in favor of the measure authored by Rep. Ron Bacon, R-Evansville. It was previously approved by the House.

Municipalities across the country, as well as the states of California and Hawaii, have banned single-use plastic bags. Others have adopted so-called bag taxes as a disincentive to their use, which many consider harmful to the environment. Industry groups, however, say the thin recyclable bags are a better and more environmental choice than other options. 

Meanwhile, other states, including Arizona and Idaho, have enacted or are considering legislation similar to the bill being considered in Indiana.

The measure approved in Indiana on Tuesday would prohibit cities such as Bloomington, where bag restrictions have been debated, from passing a ban.

Sen. Brent Steele, R-Bedford, said businesses, industry groups and many consumers oppose regulation of bag use.

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