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Plastic Bag Ban Bill In Arkansas

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Little Rock, Capital City of Arkansas. Credit: Wikipedia

December 8, 2010 –
A bill to ban plastic bags in the state of Arkansas has just been introduced in the General Assembly. House Bill 1043 (HB1043) by Representative D. Altes would be called “The Reusable Shopping Bag Act”.

HB 1043 is bound to be voted on but will probably be killed quickly. The Bill has no teeth. There is no set rules of enforcement and no penalties for lawbreakers. Furthermore, HB 1043 gives no validated reason for the ban.

Plus, how many legislators do you think are going to pass a plastic bag ban in the home state of the world’s largest retailer?

Here is the bill. Read it and decide for yourself.

Stricken language would be deleted from and underlined language would be added to the law as it existed prior to this session of the General Assembly.

12-02-2010 09:43:36 ANS008

State of Arkansas
88th General Assembly A Bill
Regular Session, 2011 HOUSE BILL 1043
By: Representative D. Altes

For An Act To Be Entitled
AN ACT TO ENACT THE REUSABLE SHOPPING BAG ACT; TO PROHIBIT A STORE FROM PROVIDING A SINGLE-USE CARRYOUT BAG TO A CUSTOMER; TO ENCOURAGE THE USE OF REUSABLE BAGS; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

Subtitle
TO ENACT THE REUSABLE SHOPPING BAG ACT; TO PROHIBIT A STORE FROM PROVIDING A SINGLE-USE CARRYOUT BAG TO A CUSTOMER; TO ENCOURAGE THE USE OF REUSABLE BAGS.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ARKANSAS:

SECTION 1. Arkansas Code Title 8, Chapter 9, is amended to add an additional subchapter to read as follows:
Subchapter 7–Reuseable Shopping Bag Act.

8-9-701. Title.
This subchapter shall be known and may be cited as the “Reusable Shopping Bag Act”.

8-9-702. Findings and legislative intent.
(a) The General Assembly finds that:
(1) The prohibition imposed by this subchapter is necessary for the environmental, public health, and societal burdens created by single-use carryout bags;
(2) Despite recycling and other voluntary solutions to control pollution from plastic bags in Arkansas, only a small percentage of single-use carryout bags are recycled, and the rest either take up valuable landfill space or are discarded into the environment; and
(3) Reusable bags are an environmentally sound alternative to single-use carryout bags.
(b) It is the intent of the General Assembly to encourage the widespread use of reusable bags as an environmentally sound alternative to single-use carryout bags.

8-9-703. Definitions.
As used in this subchapter:
(1) “Reusable bag” means a bag that is:
(A) Designed and manufactured for at least one hundred (100) uses; and
(B) Made of washable material that does not contain lead or any other heavy metal in a toxic amount, as determined by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality;
(2)(A) “Single-use carryout bag” means a bag that is:
(i) Designed for one (1) or more uses, but fewer than one hundred (100) uses;
(ii) Made of plastic; and
(iii) Provided by a store to a customer at a point of sale.
(B) “Single-use carryout bag” does not include bags made of paper;
(3) “Store” means a retail establishment that provides single-use carryout bags to its customers as a result of the sale of a product and that meets any of the following requirements:
(A) Is a supermarket;
(B) Has over ten thousand square feet (10,000 sq. ft.) of contiguous retail space that generates sales or use tax payable to the State of Arkansas and has a licensed pharmacy on site; or
(C) Is a convenience food store or foodmart engaged in retailing a limited line of goods that generally includes milk, bread, soda,
(4)(A) “Supermarket” means a full-line, self-service retail store location with gross annual sales of two million dollars ($2,000,000) or more, and that sells a line of dry grocery, canned goods, or nonfood items and some perishable items
(B) For purposes of determining which retail stores are supermarkets, the department shall use the annual updates of the Progressive Grocer Marketing Guidebook and any computer printouts developed in conjunction with the guidebook.

8-9-704. Single-use carryout bag – Prohibition.
Beginning January 1, 2012, a store shall:
(1) Not provide a single-use carryout bag to a customer; and
(2) Make reusable bags available for purchase by a customer.

8-9-705. Administration and report.
(a) The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality shall administer this subchapter and may adopt rules it deems reasonable or necessary to implement this subchapter.
(b)(1) On or before January 1, 2015, the department shall submit a report to the General Assembly regarding the effectiveness of this subchapter in achieving widespread use of reusable bags and preserving landfill space.
(2) The report shall include recommendations to:
(A) Further encourage the use of reusable bags by consumers and retailers;
(B) Reduce the consumption of single-use carryout bags; and
(C) Expand the definition of stores that are subject to this subchapter to all other stores and retail establishments distributing single-use carryout bags.

One Response to Plastic Bag Ban Bill In Arkansas

  1. martha long

    2011/11/26 at 2:20 pm

    I’m writing a college paper and was not aware that any bill had even attempted to be passed. Maybe it would pass if it was advertised a lot more. I myself hate the bags they are flimsy and don’t decompose. They susposedly photo-degrade but that can take up to 1000 years. Not to mention that we live in the natural state and all you see out the window of your vehicle on any road is plastic bags and litter. Doesn’t say much about our state logo when you see it either.