Michigan has legislation on the table right now that would ban the ban of plastic bags ban. Bans and restrictions on the use of plastic bags are widespread across the country and around the world. The rationale of the bag-banners is straight-forward: Plastic bags are non-biodegradable sources of pollution that scientists say could take hundreds of years, or even a millennium, to break down.
Americans use 100 billion plastic bags a year, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. What’s more, according to Waste Management Inc.,only 1 percent of plastic bags are returned for recycling, the rest ending up in landfills. It’s a big contribution to the problem of plastic pollution in the Great Lakes, with around 10,000 tons of plastic entering the Great Lakes annually.
In August 2014, California became the first state to enact legislation imposing a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. The regulation applies to larger retail stores, and also requires a 10-cent minimum charge for recycled paper bags, compostable bags and reusable plastic bags at certain establishments. Since then, only Hawaii and New York have joined California with statewide bag bans.
Michigan also has a ban relating to plastic bags, but not the one you might expect. In the final days of 2016, former Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley signed Senate Bill 853 into action while former Gov. Rick Snyder was on vacation. The bill, proposed by Republican Sen. Jim Stamas, banned the banning of plastic bags in Michigan, on the grounds that a plastic bag ban would create a patchwork of regulations that large corporations would have too much trouble complying with and small businesses could not afford.
With the direction food service is headed, plastic is a necessary precaution, said Connor Spalding, vice president of government affairs at the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association. “Plastic bags prevent leaks, spills, and moisture damage while transporting certain food items during delivery, with more and more of the industry turning to DoorDash or Grubhub for food delivery,” Spalding said.