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New Michigan Law Prevents Local Jurisdictions from Banning Plastic Bags

Michigan is the most recent state to pass a bill that prevents local jurisdictions from banning or taxing plastic bags and other containers. (See the article, States Move to Enact Laws to Prevent Local Plastic Bag Bans and Taxes, for information on similar laws in other states.) Senate Bill 853 (as enrolled) prohibits a local unit of government from adopting or enforcing an ordinance that: 1) regulates the use or sale of, 2) prohibits, or 3) imposes a fee or tax on auxiliary containers. Auxiliary containers are defined as:

“a bag, cup, bottle, or other packaging, whether reusable or single-use, that meets both of the following requirements: a) is made of cloth, paper, plastic, cardboard, corrugated material, aluminum, glass, postconsumer recycled material, or similar material or substrates, including coated, laminated, or multilayer substrates; and b) is designed for transporting, consuming, or protecting merchandise, food, or beverages from or at a food service or retail facility.”

SB 853 was signed into law on December 28, 2016, by Lt. Governor Brian Calley, while Governor Rick Snyder was out of the state on vacation. The new law takes effect 90 days after it was signed.