February 25, 2009 9:01 AM
Bagged! Bill requiring phaseout of plastic bags checks out
C'mon, you knew the legislature wasn't going to pry those plastic bags from our eager hands, didn't you?
A bill to require large grocery chains to phase out plastic bags within three years was defeated in the Senate.
Republicans argued that paper bags cause their own set of environmental problems and that certain stores should not be singled out.
"If it's good, we should do it for everybody," argued Sen. Dave Schultheis, R-Colorado Springs.
"I think we ought to ban this bill and put it in a landfill," he added. "The people of Colorado must be scratching their heads on this issue. We have critical financial times and we are talking about plastic bags."
Sen. Jennifer Veiga, the bill's sponsor, said the large stores her bill targeted distribute 542 million bags a year and account for 70 percent of the bags used in Colorado. Those bags, she said, create problems for the environment and wildlife.
She also noted that countries such as Uganda and China have outlawed the bags.
That was too much for Sen. Shawn Mitchell, R-Broomfield.
"There is an irony in citing a country like China for policy," Mitchell said. "What else has China banned? They've banned organized religious gatherings, they've banned having more than one child, they've banned political debate and speech, so it was probably pretty easy to pass their bans."
Think a ban on plastic bags is inevitable? Even though most people reuse them at home for garbage, pet doo and other uses?