On Sept. 1, 2009, North Carolina put into effect its Plastic Bag Management Law. Although the short title is Ban Certain Single-Use Bags, the bill is entitled, "AN ACT TO REDUCE PLASTIC AND NONRECYCLED PAPER BAG USE ON NORTH CAROLINA'S OUTER BANKS".
The Bill, S1018, was filed on March 25, 2009; passed by the Senate on May 13, 2009; passed by the House on June 18, 2009; ratified on June 23, 2009 and signed into law by the Governor on June 24, 2009. In order to become law, the bill had to make it through each of those hurdles.
The law applies only in a county which includes a barrier island or barrier peninsula, in which the barrier island or peninsula meets both of the following conditions:
(1) It has permanent inhabitation of 200 or more residents and is separated from the North Carolina mainland by a sound.
(2) It contains either a National Wildlife Refuge or a portion of a National Seashore.
(b) Within any county covered by subsection (a) of this section, this Part applies only to an island or peninsula that both:
(1) Is bounded on the east by the Atlantic Ocean.
(2) Is bounded on the west by a coastal sound.”
Why only the barrier islands? One of the reasons given was that barrier islands are small and narrow, and therefore the comparative impact of plastic bags on the barrier islands is high.
The law bans all single-use plastic bags from being provided to a customer by a retailer. The retailer may provide reusable bags or recycled paper bags. It is interesting to note that the law allows retailers to use packaging materials originally used for goods received from the retailer's wholesalers or suppliers.
Read the entire Bill S1018.