ARTICLE: Plastic Bag Ban Goes into Effect September 1

Excerpts from the article below (published in the Daily Advance) are a good summary of the bill that did ultimately pass and get signed by the Governor last week. Full legislation can be found here.

Senate to look at bag ban
By Jennifer Preyss, Staff Writer
Monday, June 22, 2009

North Carolina senators will take a final glance at a revised piece of environmental legislation today that aims to rid three Outer Banks counties of plastic bag pollution by banning them from use in large retailers.

The revised version of the bill would prevent shoppers in Hyde, Dare, and Currituck counties from obtaining plastic bags in large retailers such as Food Lion and Wal-Mart located within the three Outer Banks counties. Retailers on the mainland side of these counties however, would not be affected by the law.

The ban applies to plastic bags less than 2.25 mils in thickness and comprised of non-biodegradable material. A mil is a unit of measure equal to one-thousandth of an inch.

Introduced by Sen. Josh Stein, D-Wake, and backed by Senate leader Marc Basnight, D, Dare, the legislation has modified greatly since it was first considered last March. Local officials and citizens vocalized opposition to the bag tax at the start, and Basnight decided to partner with Stein where they recalculated both of their legislative drafts to include a plastic bag ban specific to the Outer Banks.

Two primary modifications included removing the ban for the mainland side of the counties, and offering several incentives for customers shopping with reusable tote bags.

The previous version of the legislation offered a refund for customers who bring in reusable tote bags to the store, which would have been added on to the shopper’s total bill at checkout.

The new provision allows customers to receive a cash refund, store coupon, or store credit that is equal to the retailer’s expenditures for providing one recycled paper bag multiplied by the total number of reusable totes brought in by the customer and filled with merchant goods.

Johnson said members of the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association seemed to favor the new modification.

No comments: