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Criminal Justice & Legal System

Plastic bags bill on its way to Governor Snyder’s desk

Lawmakers want to head off local laws regulating plastic shopping bags.
Flickr user Kate Ter Haar
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Lawmakers want to head off local laws regulating plastic shopping bags.

Changes could be coming for how retailers handle the use of plastic bags. That’s if Governor Rick Snyder signs a bill that won final approval in the legislature Thursday.

The bill would prevent cities from instituting fees or banning plastic bags and other containers at stores in Michigan.

Lawmakers in favor of the legislation argue that having a statewide ban prevents a confusing array of laws from city to city.

State Rep. Joseph Graves, R-Argentine Twp., is chair of a House committee that passed the bill. Graves said he and the committee viewed plastic bag fees, “more as a money grab by locals to get extra money and adds to your grocery bill every week.”

But before the vote, state Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, spoke out against the bill. He said the legislation is too much interference in local government. “This is a bill that attacks local control which I think is something that really frustrates you when it’s your locality’s control that’s being attacked," he said.

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