Letters from the West

House passes bill that gums up local plastic bag bans

This 2009 photo shows a clerk bagging groceries in plastic sacks. The Idaho Legislature is considering making it illegal for cities to impose bag bans, restrictions on Styrofoam containers and other disposable products.
This 2009 photo shows a clerk bagging groceries in plastic sacks. The Idaho Legislature is considering making it illegal for cities to impose bag bans, restrictions on Styrofoam containers and other disposable products. Associated Press

A bill that would prevent local governments from banning plastic bags, bottles and Styrofoam passed the Idaho House Wednesday.

The bill, which is sponsored by Republicans Rep. Clark Kauffman of Filer and Sen. Jim Patrick of Twin Falls, passed 52-17.

Jonathan Oppenheimer of the Idaho Conservation League said the bill is similar to model legislation written by the corporate sponsored Legislative Exchange Council.

“I’m sure there’s no coincidence that Hilex-Poly is located in Jerome, within the district of both Rep. Kauffman and Sen. Patrick,” Oppenheimer said.

Hilex-Poly manufactures many different plastic products including bags.

So far Hailey and Blackfoot have considered then rejected such bans. California has a statewide plastic bag and bottle ban but its on the ballot for a vote in November.

Rocky Barker: 208-377-6484, @RockyBarker

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