business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal reports how how "business groups are fighting back against plastic bag bans across the country, setting up collisions between manufacturers, environmentalists and lawmakers." While the first such ban was in San Francisco more than a decade ago, followed by bans in places that include New York and Washington, DC, " "more recently, more states with backing from plastic bag manufacturers and other business groups have pushed back with bills preventing such bans. In May, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, signed a bill to prevent cities from banning plastic, paper or reusable bags. The move killed a plastic bag ban in Minneapolis passed last year. At least five states have similar laws that prevent such bans."

And, "in Pennsylvania, the Republican-led House and Senate passed a measure with support from Democrats that would prevent bans on plastic bags statewide.
Officials from at least four major cities in the state, including Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, said they opposed the bill. Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, said he would veto the bill, saying cities should be able to make decisions 'in the best interests of their constituents'."

The case for the bag bans goes like this: "Environmental groups ... continue to push for ways to reduce plastic bags and other consumer plastics, which have been found in ever greater quantities in the oceans and other water systems. About 8 million metric tons of plastic find their way into the oceans each year, a World Economic Forum report found last year. At the current rate, there will be more plastic than fish, by weight, in the oceans by 2050, the report said. Roughly 25 countries have enacted measures to cut the use of plastic bags."
KC's View:
I think that states and municipalities can adopt such bans or not ... though I disagree with the folks who think that states should be able to stop cities and towns from enacting their own. Banning bans seems hypocritical for folks who, I'd guess, would probably champion states' rights in a different debate.

As for me ... I find the more-plastic-than-fish-in-the-ocean-by-2050 argument to be pretty persuasive ... and certainly more persuasive than the argument for the unbridled use of single-use plastic bags.