With New York City contemplating a ban on plastic bags (part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s pre-election pitch to voters), New York Magazine looks at attempts to ban plastic bags in other parts of the United States and finds that there are bans on bans and claims that bag bans are unpatriotic, starting in Tempe, Arizona:
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…Tempe, however, never had a chance to implement any bag legislation because, in April, the Arizona State Legislature passed SB 1241, a health-care bill with a curious amendment that declared that no city or town may “impose a tax, fee, assessment, charge or return deposit … for auxiliary containers.” In an unexpected, Dr. Seussian twist, Arizona had preemptively banned the ban: You ban bags? We’ll ban bag bans! Arizona is not the first state to enact a ban ban; Florida did so in 2008, and Missouri and Texas are investigating similar legislation.
Proponents of preemptively banning the bag ban argue that local bans create a confusing hodgepodge of regulation and that environmental fears over plastic bags are overblown.