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A Bill Filed in Legislature May Squash Proposed Fees for Paper and Plastic Bags in New Orleans

A state representative blames the "nanny state"

Many U.S. cities have enacted bans, or have imposed fees on, using paper and plastic bags in stores. In New Orleans, City Councilwomen Susan Guidry and LaToya Cantrell proposed an ordinance that would require retailers to charge for paper and plastic bags.

Well, as expected, not everyone is on board across the state state. A bill filed in the legislature may squash the ordinance before it even gets state lawmakers' approval.

The state bill’s sponsor, Rep. Paul Hollis, R-Mandeville, says such fees would signal the "proliferation of the nanny state" and that hundreds of jobs would suffer because of this terrible blow to the disposable bag industry.

Citing some unnamed studies, he also said that one would have to use a reusable bag 131 times in order to counteract the negative effects of the production of a canvas bag on the planet.

The proposed ordinance in New Orleans would require a charge of at least 10 cents for each plastic bag and at least 5 cents for every paper bag that isn’t "100 percent recyclable and made up of at least 40 percent recycled material."

The proposed state bill would block New Orleans and any other local government agencies from adopting any ordinance that restricts the use of bags, through taxation or fees, for "customer convenience in a retail setting."

The will be taken up in the Legislature’s regular session, which begins today.

Bill filed in Legislature would block proposed plastic, paper bag fees in New Orleans [The Advocate]
Proposed law would require New Orleans retailers to charge customers for both plastic and paper bags [The Advocate]