Baggin' on Republican Priorities

Republicans have been manhandling the legislative agenda for 30 days now and it's pretty clear what their priorities are. 750 odd bills later (and some of them are downright odd) the middle class is still waiting on a little relief.

Meanwhile, hot on the heels of the Congressional celebration of styrofoam, freshman Senators Thom Goolsby and Buck Newton have prioritized the repeal of the ban on plastic bags at the outer banks.

Is this a kick-a-hippie bill? A jab at Marc Basnight's legacy? The bidding of some shadowy plastics cabal? Who knows-- but it sure as heck shouldn't be the priority of two Senators who don't even represent the three counties affected by the ban (Currituck, Hyde, and Dare).


That's actually happened to me before

Well, it wasn't a whole bag, but I have munched on some salad leaves that had a little piece of shrink-wrap stuck to them. ;o

The details of what the bill proposes to repeal

The bill is here.

It basically says a bunch of (oil) industry crap, then proposes to repeal North Carolina's general statutes quoted below.

I wish someone would ask those senators that don't represent districts where the ban is in effect, why they are signed on to this bill.

Senator Newton (Nash and Wilson counties), what are you doing as a primary sponsor of this bill?

NC's General Statutes:

Part 2G. Plastic Bag Management.

§ 130A‑309.120. Findings.

The General Assembly makes the following findings:

(1) Distribution of plastic bags by retailers to consumers for use in carrying, transporting, or storing purchased goods has a detrimental effect on the environment of the State.

(2) Discarded plastic bags contribute to overburdened landfills, threaten wildlife and marine life, degrade the beaches and other natural landscapes of North Carolina's coast, and, in many cases, require consumption of oil and natural gas during the manufacturing process.

(3) It is in the best interest of the citizens of this State to gradually reduce the distribution and use of plastic bags.

(4) Environmental degradation is especially burdensome in counties with barrier islands where soundside and ocean pollution are more significant, where removing refuse from such isolated places is more difficult and expensive, where such refuse deters tourism, and where the presence of a National Wildlife Refuge or National Seashore shows that the federal government places special value on protecting the natural environment in that vicinity.

(5) The barrier islands are most relevant in that they are where sea turtles come to nest. North Carolina has some of the most important sea turtle nesting areas on the East Coast, due to the proximity of the islands to the Gulf Stream. Plastic bag debris can be harmful to sea turtles and other land and marine life. The waters adjacent to the barrier islands, because they serve as habitat for the turtles, are particularly sensitive to waterborne debris pollution.

(6) Inhabitated barrier islands are visited by a high volume of tourists and therefore experience a high consumption of bags relative to their permanent population due to large numbers of purchases from restaurants, groceries, beach shops, and other retailers by the itinerant tourist population.

(7) Barrier islands are small and narrow, and therefore the comparative impact of plastic bags on the barrier islands is high. (2009‑163, s. 1.)

§ 130A‑309.121. Definitions.

As used in this Part, the following definitions apply:

(1) Plastic bag. – A carryout bag composed primarily of thermoplastic synthetic polymeric material, which is provided by a store to a customer at the point of sale and incidental to the purchase of other goods.

(2) Prepared foods retailer. – A retailer primarily engaged in the business of selling prepared foods, as that term is defined in G.S. 105‑164.3, to consumers.

(2a) Recycled content. – Content that is either postconsumer, postindustrial, or a mix of postconsumer and postindustrial.

(3) Recycled paper bag. – A paper bag that meets all of the following requirements:

a. The bag is manufactured from at least forty percent (40%) recycled content.

b. The bag displays the words "made from recycled material" and "recyclable."

(4) Repealed by Session Laws 2010‑31, s. 13.10(a), effective October 1, 2010.

(5) Retailer. – A person who offers goods for sale in this State to consumers and who provides a single‑use plastic bag to the consumer to carry or transport the goods for free or for a nominal charge.

(6) Reusable bag. – A bag with handles that is specifically designed and manufactured for multiple reuse and is made of one of the following materials:

a. Nonwoven polypropylene or other plastic material with a minimum weight of 80 grams per square meter.

b. Cloth or other machine washable fabric. (2009‑163, s. 1; 2010‑31, s. 13.10(a).)

§ 130A‑309.122. Certain plastic bags banned.

No retailer shall provide customers with plastic bags unless the bag is a reusable bag, or the bag is used solely to hold sales to an individual customer of otherwise unpackaged portions of the following items:

(1) Fresh fish or fresh fish products.

(2) Fresh meat or fresh meat products.

(3) Fresh poultry or fresh poultry products.

(4) Fresh produce. (2009‑163, s. 1.)

§ 130A‑309.123. Substitution of paper bags restricted.

(a) A retailer subject to G.S. 130A‑309.122 may substitute paper bags for the plastic bags banned by that section, but only if all of the following conditions are met:

(1) The paper bag is a recycled paper bag.

(2) The retailer offers a cash refund to any customer who uses the customer's own reusable bags instead of the bags provided by the retailer. The amount of the refund shall be equal to the cost to the retailer of providing a recycled paper bag, multiplied by the number of reusable bags filled with the goods purchased by the customer. For purposes of this subdivision, "cash refund" includes a credit against the cost of goods purchased.

(b) Nothing in this Part shall prevent a retailer from providing customers with reused packaging materials originally used for goods received from the retailer's wholesalers or suppliers.

(c) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, a prepared foods retailer may package prepared foods in a recycled paper bag, regardless of the availability of a reusable bag, in order to comply with food sanitation or handling standards or best practices. (2009‑163, s. 1; 2010‑31, s. 13.10(b); 2010‑123, s. 5.2(a).)

§ 130A‑309.124. Required signage.

A retailer subject to G.S. 130A‑309.122 other than a prepared foods retailer shall display a sign in a location viewable by customers containing the following notice: "[county name] County discourages the use of single‑use plastic and paper bags to protect our environment from excess litter and greenhouse gases. We would appreciate our customers using reusable bags, but if you are not able to, a 100% recycled paper bag will be furnished for your use." The name of the county where the retailer displaying the sign is located should be substituted for "[county name]" in the language set forth in this section. (2009‑163, s. 1.)

§ 130A‑309.125. Applicability.

(a) This Part applies only in a county which includes a barrier island or barrier peninsula, in which the barrier island or peninsula meets both of the following conditions:

(1) It has permanent inhabitation of 200 or more residents and is separated from the North Carolina mainland by a sound.

(2) It contains either a National Wildlife Refuge or a portion of a National Seashore.

(b) Within any county covered by subsection (a) of this section, this Part applies only to an island or peninsula that both:

(1) Is bounded on the east by the Atlantic Ocean.

(2) Is bounded on the west by a coastal sound. (2009‑163, s. 1.)



Is the kindest word I can offer to describe these jerks.

Note: Comment edited for propriety.

Currituck, Dare, Hyde counties -- any others?

I may be reading this incorrectly, but does this ban cover any other counties -- or parts of counties -- except for Currituck, Dare and Hyde?

If not, why would senators from counties other than Currituck, Dare and Hyde sponsor this bill?

That's the question to ask.

If the above is correct, Senator White is the senator -- the only senator that represents those 3 counties -- that should be the lead or not on this local bill.


That's Chris Christie's body

He's the only politician who wears a suit that looks like there might be a turtle shell under it.