A bill at the Utah Legislature prohibiting local governments from banning plastic bags and other containers was held for further discussion Friday, as there was little time left in the hearing for questions from the committee and to accommodate all the members of the public who planned to testify.
The sponsor of House Bill 320, Spanish Fork Republican Rep. Mike McKell, presented the bill to the House Natural Resources Committee as a safeguard for businesses. He said cities, namely Park City and Moab, have passed ordinances that create inconsistency in the market and provide an additional cost burden to businesses. McKell said it’s time for the state to step in.
“Cities and counties are entities of the state," McKell said. "There are times to say, 'enough is enough,' let’s not interfere with businesses in a way that’s inappropriate.”
If enacted into law, HB 320 would overturn Park City and Moab’s plastic bag bans.
Representatives from Park City Municipal peppered the committee room, including Mayor Andy Beerman, Councilmember Lynn Ware Peek and Sustainability Manager Luke Cartin.
Because the hearing had run up against the clock, Committee Chair Keven Stratton allowed only one person to speak to the bill. Lucas Palmer, a nine-year-old Salt Lake City resident, said his family is trying to use less single-use plastic and asked the committee to vote no on HB 320.
“I know kids at my school care about our environment, too," Palmer said. "Even though I’m too young to vote, I still care and want my voice to be heard.”
HB 320 will be heard again in the House Natural Resources committee Monday at 4 p.m.