On Wednesday, the Ohio House State & Local Government Committee approved Ohio House Bill 242 (HB 242), a bill to prohibit taxes, fees, or bans on auxiliary containers like plastic grocery bags.
When Cuyahoga County introduced and later passed an ordinance that would ban single-use plastic bags countywide, GCP supported an amendment to delay the implementation of the ban pending further examination. GCP recognizes plastic bags are harmful to the environment but bans like these have the potential to drive up use of paper bags, which are economically and environmentally costlier to produce. In the case of the Cuyahoga County ban, GCP was also concerned about the potential impact on retailers that make up our membership. For example, Heinen’s, a Cleveland-based, family-owned grocery store, could see costs for bags increase by $2 million per year because of the switch to paper.
The GCP submitted written testimony supporting HB 242 earlier in June, urging lawmakers to further study how to reduce the use of plastic bags while preserving the economic vitality of Ohio’s small businesses and retailers. You can read more about GCP’s advocacy work regarding this issue here.