October 4, 2017

Plastic Bag Ban on the Outer Banks Repealed


The North Carolina General Assembly voted to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of House Bill 56, which includes a repeal of the plastic bag ban on the Outer Banks.

The veto override came on Wednesday during a special 2-3 day session of the General Assembly. The House voted 70-44 to pass HB 56, and the Senate later voted 30-9 to also approve the veto override.

The bill now becomes law.

House Bill 56 was brought back to life in August with the addition of a more prominent plan to give $435,000 out of a requested $2.6 million to the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority and UNCW to deal with a pollutant called GenX, which was recently identified in the Cape Fear River waters.

The 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.”

The 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. The ban required stores to use paper bags, and also to provide a $.05 refund per bag for customers who bring their own reusable bags to an individual store.

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.

The bill was vetoed by Gov. Roy Cooper on September 21 who noted in a statement that the bill “…gives the impression of action while allowing the long-term problem to fester. And it unnecessarily rolls back other environmental protections for landfills, river basins, and our beaches.”

For the complete details of House Bill 56, including recent activity, refer to http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/BillLookUp/BillLookUp.pl?Session=2017&BillID=H56&submitButton=Go.

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