The governors of Maine and Vermont just signed single-use plastic bag bans for their respective states on June 17, Waste Dive reports.
Maine’s bill will ban single-use plastic bags across the state, with reusable plastic and paper bags permitted for a charge of 5 cents per bag. The ban will take effect across the state by April 2020. Vermont’s statewide ban will take effect by July 2020 and require a fee of 10 cents for paper bags.
According to a study released earlier this month, “Where are Plastic Bags Banned Around the World,” America is far from the most progressive country when it comes to plastic bag bans internationally. “At least 32 countries around the world have plastic bag bans in place, and nearly half are in Africa, where plastic bags frequently clog drains, leading to increased mosquito swarms (and, as a result, bouts of malaria),” according to the study. “The bans in these countries range widely in severity, but Kenya’s, put into place last year, surely take the cake: anyone ‘making, selling, of importing’ plastic bags could face fines of up to $19,000 and four years in jail.”
Waste Dive has more information:
Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed a bill Monday (LD 1532) that will ban single-use plastic bags across the state by April 22, 2020. Reusable plastic and paper bags will be permitted for at least $0.05 per bag.
Shortly after, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott signed a bill (S.113) that will ban single-use plastic bags by July 1, 2020 and require a fee of at least $0.10 for paper bags. Reusable bags will be encouraged as an alternative.
In addition, Vermont's law goes a step farther by banning polystyrene foam containers, plastic stirrers and plastic straws (with certain disability-related exceptions) in what has been described as the "toughest" and most expansive state plastics policy yet.