A new bill would allow Michigan communities to regulate litter from single-use plastic bags.
The bill, introduced by Sen. Jeff Irwin, would allow the implementation of plastic bag bans or any motion regulating the use or sale of plastic bags, or imposing any fee, charge or tax on certain containers.
Currently, there is a law in Michigan banning the implementation of plastic bag bans.
“Plastic bags are a pervasive form of pollution and litter in our communities,” Irwin said. “Other communities have shown success in keeping trash off their roads, beautifying their communities, and keeping this trash out of their rivers and streams by introducing limits, deposits, or other creative ideas to improve plastic bag recycling. This bill is designed to do that.”
Citing studies, Irwin said plastic bags are among the top 12 items of debris found along coastlines and take hundreds of years to biodegrade. According to a study from the University of Sydney, California’s plastic bag ban reduced the consumption of plastic bags by 71.5%.
“As the Great Lakes State, we hold the responsibility to ensure that our lakes and rivers are protected from pollution caused by plastic bags. This legislation will restore our local governments’ ability to protect and beautify our state,” Irwin said. “Local leaders are closest to our roads, parks, and waterways. They need this tool to fight litter in our communities, and we should be able to provide this to them.”