Rhode Island bill banning plastic bags advances in Senate

May 30, 2019

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island bill banning single-use retail bags is advancing in the state Senate after lawmakers tweaked it to specify that retailers must offer reusable bags with “stitched handles.”

The Providence Journal reports that the Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture unanimously approved the amended legislation Wednesday.

Without the new language, retailers could have just switched to thicker plastic bags, rather than paper bags or more durable fabric or polyester bags.

Environmental groups and municipalities pressured lawmakers to amend the bill saying otherwise it would be weaker than 14 municipal laws across the state that have the stitched-handle requirement.

The House version of the bill has yet to be amended.

If the General Assembly approves the legislation, Rhode Island would be one of a handful of states with such a law.

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