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Bag Bill Dies in Committee
This legislative session we were fortunate to have Senator Bullard sponsor a bag ban bill for the second year in a row. Last year, the bill didn’t get put on any committee schedules and therefore was never heard publicly. This year, Senator Dean, Chairman of the Senate Environmental Preservation & Conservation Committee, made sure the bill was given a stop in his committee. After being postponed due to scheduling concerns, the bill was finally heard on April 10th. Click here for specifics on the bill.
The bill was subject to rigorous debate with Surfrider Foundation, Sierra Club of Florida, Audubon of Florida and the City of Cutlter Bay providing comments in support of the bill. The Florida Retail Federation and Associated Industries of Florida opposed the bill.
Ultimately, although all the Senators that spoke for or against the bill agreed that it was an important issue worth discussing, the Committee could not reach consensus on the ten-cent surcharge on paper bags. In order to build consensus and craft an agreement on the paper bag surcharge, Senator Bullard agreed to temporarily pass (which is essentially postponing) his bill. Unfortunately, because the Legislative Session in coming to a close in a few weeks, this bill will not have time to be amended and make it through the committee process.
Although the bill is not going to pass this year, it has sparked an important debate and will definitely be back next year. For now, please take a moment to thank the sponsor Senator Bullard: (850) 487-5039 firstname.lastname@example.org for his leadership in sponsoring the bill and Senator Dean (850) 487-5005 email@example.com for placing the bill on the agenda.
Lastly, several legislators commented that their offices had been “inundated” with calls, Tweets, and emails asking for them to support SB830. Thank you to all of the Surfrider Foundation, Sea Turtle Conservancy, and Sierra Club members that took time to reach out to their legislators and encourage them to take action. With your support, we’ll be back next year to make sure this bill gets passed!
Bag Bill Action Alert!
The Senate Environmental & Preservation Committee is going to hear a good plastic bags bill this Thursday morning!
SB 0830 Carryout Bags by Sen. Bullard will allow local governments to adopt ordinances that prohibit stores from handing out free plastic bags, and will require a ten-cent charge for each recyclable paper bag. Customers are free to supply their own bags.
The bill sets uniform statewide standards for cities and counties that want to implement plastic bag rules. At least half of the 10 cent fee will go to education with the remainder to go to the store to cover expenses.
The bill provides that the bag ordinance can only apply to large stores meeting at least $2 million in gross annual sales, or that have at least 10,000 square feet of floor space.
- It is estimated that Americans go through about 100 billion plastic bags a year, or 360 bags per year for every man, woman, and child in the country.
- Plastics comprise up to 90% of floating marine debris, and up to 80% of the plastic in our oceans comes from land-based sources.
- An estimated 100,000 marine mammals and up to 1 million sea birds die every year after ingesting or being tangled in plastic marine litter.
- The bill will reduce litter and the problems caused by plastic bags in stormwater management systems (they clog them up).
- SB 830 gives authority back to local governments by allowing them to opt-in to these uniform standards.
- Support SB 830 and help Florida take the first step toward protecting our environment and wildlife from the harmful impacts of single use plastics.
Please CALL TODAY and urge Committee members to vote ‘YES’ on Carryout Bags.
YES ON 830 – CARRYOUT BAGS
Sen. Charles S. Dean, Chair
Sen. Joseph Abruzzo, Vice Chair
Sen. Thad Altman
Brevard, Orange, Seminole
Sen. Dwight Bullard
Collier,Hendry, Miami-Dade, Monroe
Sen. Jeff Clemens
Sen. Andy Gardiner
Sen. Denise Grimsley
Sen. Jack Latvala
Sen. Wilton Simpson
Sen. Darren Soto