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Stay out of plastic-bag law, Bisbee tells state attorney general

October 11, 2017,

Howard Fischer,

October 11, 2017-

Bisbee’s city attorney told Attorney General Mark Brnovich on Tuesday that his community’s regulations on plastic bags are none of the state’s business. In a sometimes sharply worded letter, Britt Hanson detailed the city’s problem with blowing bags and the eyesore and expense they caused prior to a 2013 city ordinance. That law prohibits retailers from providing free single-use plastic bags to customers; paper bags from recycled material can be provided, with retailers required to charge a nickel. The result, he said, has been a cleaner community and lower costs for retailers.

Hanson said there was no reason for the Legislature to approve a 2016 law preempting local governments from regulating the bags. Some lawmakers voted for the law to overturn the Bisbee ordinance without ever having been to the community, he said. “Although the law prohibiting Bisbee from banning plastic bags declares that it is a matter of statewide concern, it doesn’t say what that concern is,” Hanson told Brnovich. He said the state law lacks legal basis and cannot be used to force Bisbee to scrap its ordinance.