Posted by 30 January 2020
Some cities and states are banning the use of plastic straws and single-use plastic bags. South Dakota legislators want to go in the other direction – they are considering prohibiting cities from imposing such bans.
South Dakota senators are likely to approve legislation that would stop local governments from banning single-use plastic bags, plastic straws, and other types of packaging. This would pre-empt local bans that have occurred in cities in other states, though not in South Dakota.
Activists have increasingly attacked single-use plastic bags and straws due to concerns about plastic pollution. Supporters of these bans argue that they are necessary to protect wildlife, reduce litter, and save landfill space.
Legislators in South Dakota disagree, however. They note that such bans affect small businesses, making it more difficult for them to offer the products that consumers want. People with disabilities also contend that such bans hurt individuals who need to use straws because of mobility issues. There is also skepticism about how much such bans do to reduce plastic use.
While there have been efforts in cities and counties to ban the use of these plastic products, this has prompted some states to consider pre-emption laws similar to what’s being proposed in South Dakota. Fourteen states have passed laws that take this power away from local governments.
The legislative session in South Dakota lasts through March 30.
Do you support banning businesses from providing plastic bags and straws?