State Rep. Brian Sims says, his legislation is about protecting the environment as plastic bags take decades to decompose.
HARRISBURG, Pa. — One state lawmaker is proposing a ban on plastic bags and a fee for use of paper bags. Plastic bags can take decades, if not a century or longer to decompose and paper bags use four times as much water to produce. State Rep. Brian Sims, (D) Philadelphia County, has introduced legislation he says is about protecting the environment.
HB 1382 would ban the use of plastic bags in retail stores and add a fee onto the use of paper bags for .15 cents per bag. A retail store that would violate the ban of plastic bags would face fines of up to $200. Rep. Sims says, it is time Pennsylvanians move on from using plastic and paper bags and find a more environmentally friendly way to shop.
"Being able to introduce legislation that eliminates and reduces the use of plastic and paper bags is about protecting the future," said Rep. Sims. "And luckily there are materials all across the country materials abound that we can all use for bags other than dangerous plastic or harmful paper."
The fees collected from this legislation would be shared with retailers through a three tier system with money going back to smaller businesses. Small business would recoup 100 percent of the fees on these bags. The money would also help fund the state's hazardous sites cleanup program, that cleans up land where hazardous substances have been released.
The bill has been referred to the House Finance Committee.