Bill that would prohibit ordinances against plastic bags heads to the House

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OKLAHOMA CITY – While many businesses across the country are trying to cut down on the amount of waste they produce, a bill heading to the House would prohibit cities from creating ordinances regarding those practices.

In recent years, many big businesses in other states have announced plans to phase out the use of plastic bags. Since many cities cannot recycle plastic bags, they end up in landfills and can take decades to break down.

Some cities have even gone as far as banning plastic bags from being used in stores due to the overwhelming impact they are having on the environment.

However, a bill that is headed to the Oklahoma House of Representatives would prevent any city or town in Oklahoma from passing such an ordinance.

Senate Bill 1001 would prevent cities and towns from ‘restricting, taxing, prohibiting or regulating the use, disposition or sale of auxiliary containers.’

The author of the bill, Sen. James Leewright, R-Bristow, told the Tulsa World that it wouldn’t affect recycling programs but would create a uniformity of commerce across the state.

Although it would create a uniform rule, critics argue that it would also limit local control.

“I think it is a gross example of government overreach on an issue that is clearly an issue of local control,” said Breea Clark, Norman City Councilmember.

The measure comes after the Norman City Council announced that it might consider banning single-use plastic bags in the city.

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The measure was already approved by the Senate, and now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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