H. B. 4598
(By Delegates Manchin, Caputo, Doyle, Guthrie, Longstreth, Manypenny, Moore, Pino,
M. Poling and Staggers)
[Introduced February 17, 2012; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §22-15A-15, relating to the prohibition of single-use plastic bags and to encourage the use of reusable bags.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §22-15A-15, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 15A. THE A. JAMES MANCHIN REHABILITATION ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION PLAN.
§22-15A-15. Reusable shopping bag act.
(a) Title. – This section shall be known as the “Reusable Shopping Bag Act.”
(b) Findings and intent.
(1) The Legislature finds that:
(A) The prohibition imposed by this section is necessary for the environmental, public health, and societal burdens created by single-use carryout bags;
(B) Despite recycling and other voluntary solutions to control pollution from plastic bags in West Virginia, only a small percentage of single-use carryout bags are recycled, and the rest either take up valuable landfill space or are discarded into the environment; and
(C) Reusable bags are an environmentally sound alternative to single-use carryout bags.
(2) It is the intent of the Legislature to encourage the widespread use of reusable bags as an environmentally sound alternative to single-use carryout bags.
(c) Definitions. – As used in this section:
(1) “Reusable bag” means a bag that is:
(A) designed and manufactured for at least one hundred uses; and
(B) Made of washable material that does not contain lead or any other heavy metal in a toxic amount, as determined by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.
(2) (A)“Single-use carryout bag” means a bag that is:
(i) Designed for one or more uses, but fewer than one hundred uses;
(ii) Made of plastic; and
(iii) Provided by a store to a customer at a point of sale.
(B) “Single-use carryout bag” does not include bags made of paper.
(3) “Store” means a retail establishment that provides single-use carryout bags to its customers as a result of the sale of a product and that meets any of the following requirements:
(A) Is a supermarket;
(B) Has over ten thousand square feet of contiguous retail space that generates sales or use tax payable to the State of West Virginia and has a licensed pharmacy on site; or
(C) Is a convenience food store or foodmart engaged in retailing a limited line of goods that generally includes milk, bread, soda, and snacks.
(d) Single-use carryout bag - Prohibition.
(1) Beginning January 1, 2013, a store may not:
(A) Provide a single-use carryout bag to a customer; and
(B) Make reusable bags available for purchase by a customer.
(e) The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection shall administer this section and propose rules for Legislature approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code and this section.
(1) Before January 1, 2014, the department shall submit a report to the Legislature regarding the effectiveness of this section in achieving widespread use of reusable bags and preserving landfill space.
(2) The report shall include recommendations to:
(A) Further encourage the use of reusable bags by consumers and retailers;
(B) Reduce the consumption of single-use carry out bags; and
(C) Expand the definition of stores that are subject to this section to all other stores and retail establishments distributing single-use carryout bags.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to prohibit the use of single-use plastic bags by stores.
§22-15A-15 is new; therefore, it has been completely underscored.