Should cities and towns be able to ban plastic bags without approval from the state?

Feb 12, 2018

Twice in the past, the Portsmouth City Council has voted to ban the use of plastic shopping bags. But the city can’t carry out the ban because the state Legislature won’t allow them to do so.

That’s because New Hampshire is not among the 32 states with what’s called “home rule”—which allows cities and towns to adopt any policy so long as it is not forbidden in state law. Instead, New Hampshire law only allows cities and towns to take local actions, such as a plastic bag ban, if the Legislature passes legislation specifically granting them that power.

Plastic bag ban back on the agenda for 2017

Nov 26, 2016

Rep. Marjorie Shepardson and Rep. Christy Bartlett have both requested 2017 bills related to disposable plastic shopping bags.

The text of those bills is not yet public.

Bartlett’s bill is “relative to the use of small capacity, light weight plastic bags by retailers.” Shepardson is seeking a bill “allowing towns to regulate disposable plastic shopping bags.” 

Plastic bag ban coming up for vote

Feb 24, 2016

On March 3, the New Hampshire Senate will vote on SB 410, a bill that would allow towns and cities to ban plastic bags at large retailers.

Sen. Martha Fuller Clark is sponsoring the bill on behalf of the Portsmouth City Council, which is interested in a plastic bag ban.

Supporters of plastic bag bans argue that bags are a waste of fossil fuels, difficult to recycle, and can harm marine wildlife.

Plastic bag ban is back

Jan 06, 2016

Sen. Martha Fuller Clark of Portsmouth is sponsoring a 2016 bill that would allow municipalities to ban plastic bags. 

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