Vermont Plastics Bag Ban Bill Advances to Governor's Desk

Time:0000-00-00 00:00:00 Author:Suny Group

The Vermont legislature has given final approval to S.113- the legislation that proposes ban on use of single-use plastic products. The House gave overwhelming approval to the bill on a 120-24 vote, following hours of lively debate. Following the House approval, the legislation, introduced by Sen. Christopher Bray, has now headed to Gov. Phil Scott’s desk, awaiting final action.

The Vermont bill is hailed as the strongest of its kind in the entire nation. The legislation prohibits stores from providing single-use plastic bags. Instead, retailers are allowed to offer paper bags by charging 10-cents per bag. The money thus collected could be retained by the retailer. The legislation also bans expanded polystyrene (EPS) food service containers, cups and single-use plastic stirrers. In addition, restaurants will not be allowed to provide plastic straws unless requested. If signed by the Governor, the bill will go into effect July 1 next year.

A working group has been entrusted with the duty of recommending ways to improve management of single-use products. The group has time until Dec 1, 2019 to submit its recommendations.

The passage of the bill was hailed by the Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG), whose executive director Paul Burns noted that it would be the greatest single law in the entire country to effectively address the problem of single-use plastic pollution. Meantime, the Vermont Retail & Grocers Association has called for a statewide policy on single-use products over each town passing their own version of ban.


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