Alabama’s Senate Governmental Affairs Committee recently voted to move forward with legislation that would prohibit cities in the state from banning single-use plastics.
Newsweek reports that the bill would stop local governments in Alabama from banning the use of plastic bags, foam cups and other single-use containers. It would also stop fees being charged to customers for using single-use containers.
According to Newsweek, Tammy Herrington, executive director of Conservation Alabama, said: “It was disappointing to see the Senate committee take the side of out-of-state industry groups over their constituents. Alabamians want to be able to solve plastic waste problems in their community, not have their local authority undermined by the state legislature. We’ll keep working with our partners, city governments and the voters to stop this bill.”
In March, Florida lawmakers introduced a similar bill that would place a five-year suspension on municipalities’ banning the use of plastic straws. In addition to stopping local authorities from banning plastic straws, the proposed bill was amended to create a $25,000 fine for local governments that regulate plastic straws.
Newsweek has more details:
The Alabama Senate's Governmental Affairs Committee has voted to advance legislation to stop cities in the state banning plastic grocery bags.
According to a report by WKRG, on Tuesday the committee voted 9-2 to send the bill to the Senate floor. The bill, by Republican Senator Steve Livingston of Scottsboro, would stop local governments in Alabama from banning the use of plastic bags, foam cups and other single-use bags and containers. Furthermore, it would stop fees being charged to customers for the use of single-use containers.
This policy is controversial; a U.N. report says packaging accounts for about half of the plastic waste in the world. The U.S. is one of the world's largest producers of plastic packaging waste per capita.