Plastic Bag Ban Repeal Back in Play
By JOY CRIST
The repeal of the plastic bag ban on the Outer Banks is looking more certain.
introduced as a separate bill, the plastic bag ban repeal was
eventually added to a package of 19 additions or changes to
environmental laws, which was approved by the State Senate on Wednesday
evening, and approved by the State House on Thursday morning.
The bill - House Bill 56 – was first filed in February 2017, but had hit an impasse at the end of June.
was brought back to life with the addition of a more prominent plan to
give $435,000 to the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority and the
University of North Carolina at Wilmington to deal with a pollutant
called GenX, which was recently identified in the Cape Fear River
Plastic Bag Ban Repeal takes up just one line of House Bill 56, and
reads “SECTION 10.(a) Part 2G of Article 9 of Chapter 130A of the
General Statutes is repealed.”
original section that reduced the size of the Marine Fisheries
Commission from nine to seven seats by removing two at-large positions
was also removed from the newest version of the bill.
2009 plastic bag repeal ban was the brainchild of then-Senate President
Pro Tem Marc Basnight of Dare County as a way to cut down on litter, as
well as the deaths of offshore sea turtles which often pay a visit to
the Outer Banks to lay their eggs along the seashore. (When in the
water, plastic bags look a lot like jellyfish, and are therefore
commonly mistaken as food by sea turtles and other marine life.)
ban requires stores to use paper bags, and also to provide a $.05
refund per bag for customers who bring their own reusable bags to an
North Carolina Retail Merchants Association supports the repeal, but
local organizations including the Dare County Board of Commissioners
(BOC) and the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce have both publicly spoken
out against repealing the ban.
bag ban repeal resurfaced due to extra work days scheduled by the
General Assembly in the late summer / early fall – a move that was
prompted by the federal court ruling that the 2011 district maps were
illegal, and had to be redone by September 1, 2017.
the extra workdays, the General Assembly also revisited bills that had
passed both the House and Senate but had stalled, which included House
that it has been approved by the state House with 61 ayes versus 44
nos, the bill will be sent to the desk of Governor Roy Cooper for his
more information on the current status of House Bill 56, refer to