Democrat Senator Jose Javier Rodriquez is behind bill (SB 162). If passed it would allow certain municipalities to ban disposable plastic bags.His bill states if passed it would allow “certain municipalities to establish pilot programs to regulate or ban disposable plastic bags.”
Seemingly the municipalities would be limited to “coastal communities” which means “a municipality that abuts or borders the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic Ocean, or a saltwater bay, sound, straight, inlet, lagoon, salt marsh, coastal wetland, or other saltwater body immediately adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic Ocean.”
If passed the pilot program would take effect on January 1, 2018 and expire no later than June 30, 2020. After the pilot program is over the municipality will submit a report “on the impact of such regulation or ban to the governing body of the municipality at a public hearing that is open to comments from the public.”
After the analysis if the Florida Legislature will decide if they need to impose new regulations on plastic bags. In addition, the Department of Environmental Protection will undertake an analysis of the need “for new or different regulation of auxiliary containers, wrappings, or disposable plastic bags used by consumers to carry products from retail establishments.”
It has been said, plastic bags are dangerous to wildlife, especially in coastal communities and that is most likely the motivation behind the ban.