Posted: Mar 14, 2017 02:05 PM MDT
Updated: Mar 14, 2017 02:05 PM MDT
For more than 25 years, states have been working to reduce, reuse and recycle plastic bags -- using legislation. In 1991, Maine enacted a first-of-its-kind law to require recycling efforts at retail stores. Now, 10 states have plastic bag laws that range from banning them at stores to prohibiting laws that restrict businesses.
Arizona in 2015 enacted a law preventing any city, town or county from regulating plastic bag use by any business, commercial building or multifamily housing property.
California banned certain large stores from providing plastic bags, unless they charge 10 cents or meet other criteria. The public voted on the legislation in a referendum and it became effective July 1, 2015.
Delaware in 2009 enacted legislation that requires at-store recycling programs -- and that all plastic bags display a recycling message.
Idaho jumped on the banning bans bandwagon in 2016. Any plastic bag regulation in the state must go through the legislature -- as enacted statute.
Illinois established "Recycle Thin Film Friday" in 2016. The hope? To encourage residents to recycle thin-film plastic bags -- or, better yet, to use reusable bags.
Maine was the first on the scene to require plastic bag recycling in 1991. Then in 2010, the state formed a work group to tackle the ongoing bag-caused environmental issues.
In 2015, Missouri merchants were granted the freedom to provide either paper or plastic bags. Plus, it prohibited localities from imposing any future bans, fees or taxes.
New York in 2008 rolled out the "Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse and Recycling Act." In the state, retailers are required to have recycling programs and bags must have "Please Return to a Participating Store for Recycling" printed on them.
Rhode Island focused on promoting paper bags in 2008 – by requiring retailers to provide them. In the state, stores must provide a recycling bin for plastic bags, too. The fine if they don't comply with the laws? Up to $500.
Bonus (since Washington, D.C., is a federal district, not a state): The District of Colombia's 2010 legislation banned the use of non-recyclable bags. It also established a fee on all other bags from certain stores and established a river cleanup and protection fund. Source: National Conference of State Legislatures (www.ncsl.org)