Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Plastic Bags bill in Committee - Calls Needed!

Bags, bags and more bags.
John/Flickr/Creative Commons License
Sen. Bullard’s SB 0306 Disposable Plastic Bags will be heard in the Senate Environmental Protection and Conservation Committee on Wednesday, January 20th at 1:30 p.m.  This is the second week of session so there will be time to move the bill further in the process this year.
Please call committee members and urge them to vote YES for this good bill!  Be sure to thank Chairman Dean for putting the bill on the agenda.

                Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation 2015

Sen. Charles Dean, Chair          850-487-5005 dean.charles.web@flsenate.gov

Sen. Wilton Simpson, V. Chair 850-487-5018 simpson.wilton.web@flsenate.gov

Sen. Thad Altman                     850-487-5016 altman.thad.web@flsenate.gov

Sen. Greg Evers                        850-487-5002 evers.greg.web@flsenate.gov

Sen. Alan Hays                         850-487-5011 hays.alan.web@flsenate.gov

Sen. Travis Hutson                   850-487-5006 hutson.travis.web@flsenate.gov

Sen. David Simmons                850-487-5010 simmons.david.web@flsenate.gov

Sen. Christopher Smith             850-487-5031 smith.chris.web@flsenate.gov

Sen. Darren Soto                      850-487-5014 soto.darren.web@flsenate.gov

 dean.charles.web@flsenate.gov, simpson.wilton.web@flsenate.gov, altman.thad.web@flsenate.gov, evers.greg.web@flsenate.gov, hays.alan.web@flsenate.gov, hutson.travis.web@flsenate.gov, simmons.david.web@flsenate.gov, smith.chris.web@flsenate.gov, soto.darren.web@flsenate.gov, What the bill does

SB 306 authorizes coastal municipalities with a population under 100,000 to establish a pilot program to regulate or ban plastic bags.  The municipality would have to pass an ordinance establishing the pilot program by the end of this year that would start no earlier than Jan. 1, 2017 and would expire on June 30, 2019 (2 ½ years.)  During the pilot program the municipality would have to collect data relating to the impact of the regulation or ban, submit a report to the governing body of the municipality at a public hearing by April 1, 2019, and provide a copy of the report to DEP.

Talking points

  • Plastic bags create unsightly litter that can block stormwater drains.  Both of these problems cause unnecessary expense for local governments and taxpayer
  • They end up in water bodies where they foul the environment for wildlife.  Bags or pieces of bags are mistaken for food, especially when they are brightly colored and moving in water.   When they are ingested by animals they can choke them or cause blockages that can be fatal.
  • Plastic bags contribute to the plastic gyres in the world’s oceans and pose threats to ocean life.
  • They are made from non-renewable sources such as petroleum, natural gas, and coal, and their manufacture creates greenhouse gases
  • They do not biodegrade because polyethylene is not recognized by microbes as food.  However, they do break down in sunlight into smaller and smaller synthetic granules that will remain in the environment (and interfere with the food web) for a long, long time.
  • Bringing your own bag is simple and inexpensive.  It’s the responsible thing to do!