Florida coastal communities could soon ban plastic bags

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida Senate committee has advanced a bill that gives certain Florida coastal communities the power to temporarily ban or regulate the use of plastic bags.

The Committee on Environmental Preservation and Conservation gave the measure its first-round approval on Wednesday, gifting a small victory to those who have fought for similar legislation to pass since 2013.

The bill’s co-sponsor, Sen. Gary Farmer, said coastal communities with fewer than 100,000 residents would be eligible to establish pilot programs between January 2018 and June 2020 to regulate or prohibit the use of disposable bags in their municipalities.

If passed, the law would not allow local governments to add special taxes or fees to plastic bags, and it would require officials to track data on the regulation’s impact.

 

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