Lawmaker introduces bill that would ban the ban on banning plastic bags

Plastic bags in use at New World supermarket in New Lynn on June 12, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

A lawmaker has introduced a bill that would repeal a 2016 law that prohibited local governments from banning plastic bags.

In short, it's a ban on banning bans of plastic bags.

Originally reported by Great Lakes Now, Rep. Robert Wittenberg, D-Huntington introduced the legislation in the House on April 24. 

The bill comes as states across the country enact their own restrictions on plastic bags. Because the bags are non-biodegradable, several governments are pushing to reduce their numbers. 

The Center for Biological Diversity estimates Americans use 100 billion plastic bags every year. Complementing that number are estimations from Waste Management that say only 1 percent of plastic bags are returned for recycling. The rest end up in landfills or as litter. 

When plastic finds its way into the Great Lakes, it numbers in the thousands of tons. A study from scientists out of the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York estimates almost 10,000 metric tons of plastic pollute the Great Lakes every year.

The inital ban on local governments outlawing plastic bags was proposed in March of 2016 before it was signed into law in late December.