Maine LD 396: An Act To Encourage the Use of Alternatives to Single-use Plastic Disposable Bags

LD 396 (subjects: CONTAINERS – RETURNABLE , PLASTIC BAGS )

Official bill page at mainelegislature.org: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/display_ps.asp?ld=396&PID=1456&snum=127


Sponsors | Actions | Bill Text | Patterns of Support


Sponsors

Principal Sponsor: Rep. Janice Cooper of Yarmouth: (D – District 47) — e-mail | Facebook

2 Cosponsors:

Actions

Chamber

Action
2/12/2015 House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources suggested and ordered printed.
The Bill was REFERRED to the Committee on ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES.
Sent for concurrence. ORDERED SENT FORTHWITH.
2/12/2015 Senate On motion by Senator SAVIELLO of Franklin REFERRED to the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, in concurrence.
4/9/2015 Senate Pursuant to Joint Rule 310.3 Placed in Legislative Files (DEAD)

Bill Text

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An Act To Encourage the Use of Alternatives to Single-use Plastic Disposable Bags

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

Sec. 1. 38 MRSA 1605, as repealed and replaced by PL 1991, c. 475, 1, is repealed.

Sec. 2. 38 MRSA 1605-A and 1605-B are enacted to read:

1605-A. Plastic bags

1. Definitions. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

A. “Plastic” means an organic or petroleum-derivative synthetic or semisynthetic organic solid that is moldable.
B. “Retailer” means a person that offers consumer goods for sale at retail in the State.
C. “Reusable bag” means a bag with handles that is specifically designed and manufactured for multiple reuse and is made of cloth, fiber, other machine-washable fabric or durable plastic.
D. “Single-use plastic disposable bag” means a bag made from plastic and designed for one-time use to carry consumer goods in a retail transaction. “Single-use plastic disposable bag” does not include:

(1) Plastic bags used by consumers inside stores to package bulk items, such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, candy or small hardware items; to contain or wrap frozen foods, meat or fish, whether prepackaged or not; to contain or wrap flowers, potted plants or other items where dampness may be a problem; and to contain unwrapped prepared foods or bakery goods;

(2) Plastic bags provided by pharmacists to contain prescription drugs; or

(3) Plastic newspaper bags, door-hanger bags, laundry or dry-cleaning bags or bags sold in packages containing multiple bags intended for use as garbage, pet waste or yard waste bags.

2. Use of plastic bags by retailer. A retailer may not use single-use plastic disposable bags at the point of retail sale, or otherwise make single-use plastic disposable bags available to customers, unless the following provisions are met:

A. The single-use plastic disposable bags are 100% recyclable, display the phrase “Please recycle this bag” or a substantially similar phrase in a highly visible manner on the bag exterior and are made of high-density polyethylene film marked with the Society of the Plastics Industry resin identification code 2 or low-density polyethylene film marked with the Society of the Plastics Industry resin identification code 4, or such standards as are established by a successor organization;
B. The retailer locates inside the retailer’s store or within 20 feet of the main entrance to the store a receptacle for collecting any used single-use plastic disposable bags and ensures that the bags collected are recycled or delivered to a person engaged in recycling plastics; and
C. The retailer collects a fee as required by subsection 3.

3. Plastic bag fee and carryout program. A retailer shall collect a fee of 5 from a customer for each single-use plastic disposable bag distributed to the customer at the point of retail sale. The retailer:

A. Retains 1 of each 5 fee to cover administrative costs, except as provided in paragraph B.
B. In addition to the amount retained under paragraph A, may elect to retain 1 of each 5 fee, for a total of 2 retained of each 5 fee collected, to implement and support a carryout program that credits a customer no less than 5 for each bag provided by the customer at the point of retail sale for packaging purchases, regardless of whether the bag is paper, plastic or reusable material. The retailer has the sole discretion of determining the amount of the credit due to a customer at the point of retail sale; and
C. Shall provide an itemized sales receipt documenting the amount of the fee paid by a customer or, if applicable, the carryout program credit under paragraph B. The retailer shall prominently display at each point of retail sale a sign describing the fee required under this subsection and, if applicable, the carryout program.

The retailer shall document all fees collected under this subsection on a form determined by the commissioner and on a monthly basis submit to the department the completed form and fees collected, less the fee portions retained under paragraph A and, if applicable, under paragraph B. Fees remitted to the department under this subsection must be credited to the Plastics Recycling Fund established in section 1605-B.

The assessment of a fee under this subsection is not considered a sale of tangible personal property or taxable services under Title 36, section 1811, and the fees retained by the retailer are not considered revenue and are considered tax-exempt under Title 36, Part 8.

4. Paper and reusable bags. A retailer may provide recyclable paper bags to bag products at the point of sale. A retailer shall provide reusable bags for purchase by a customer.
5. Enforcement and penalties for violation. If the commissioner determines that a retailer has violated this section, the commissioner shall initiate an enforcement action pursuant to section 347-A to recover any unpaid fees required under subsection 3 and may impose an additional penalty on the retailer consistent with section 349. No more than one penalty may be imposed upon a retailer within a 7-day period. Revenues collected by the department from penalties assessed under this subsection must be credited to the Plastics Recycling Fund established in section 1605-B.
6. Rules. The department may adopt rules to implement the provisions of this section. Rules adopted pursuant to this subsection are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.

1605-B. Plastics Recycling Fund

The Plastics Recycling Fund, referred to in this section as “the fund,” is established within the department for the purpose of promoting recycling efforts related to plastics, including establishing statewide or county programs to promote plastics recycling and to educate the public about plastics recycling and about the benefits of the alternate use of reusable bags and establishing other programs that carry out the purposes of the fund as determined by the commissioner. Revenues in the fund may also be used to provide reusable bags to residents of the State, with priority distribution to elderly and low-income residents. The commissioner shall administer the fund. The fund is funded from fees collected under section 1605-A, subsection 3. Any unexpended money in the fund may not lapse, but must be carried forward to the next fiscal year. Revenues in the fund must be used for carrying out the purposes of the fund after reasonable costs for the administration of the fund by the department are deducted.

Sec. 3. Department of Environmental Protection; public information and outreach campaigns. By January 1, 2016, the Department of Environmental Protection shall develop and conduct an intensive public information campaign aimed at educating the public on the importance of reducing the number of single-use plastic disposable bags entering the waste stream and the impact of such bags on the environmental health of the State. By January 1, 2016, the department shall develop and implement an outreach campaign that includes a public-private partnership to provide reusable bags to residents of the State and, working with service providers that assist elderly and low-income residents, to distribute information and reusable bags to elderly and low-income households. The department may use funds in the Plastics Recycling Fund established under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 38, section 1605-B to cover the costs of developing and implementing these campaigns.

SUMMARY

This bill requires a retailer to assess a 5 fee for a single-use plastic disposable bag distributed to a customer at the point of retail sale. The retailer retains 1 from each 5 fee for administrative costs and may elect to retain an additional 1 from each 5 fee to provide a carryout program that credits a customer no less than 5 for each bag provided by the customer at the point of retail sale for packaging purchases. The revenues from the fee, less the portion retained by the retailer for administrative costs and, if applicable, the carryout program, are credited to the Plastics Recycling Fund administered by the Department of Environmental Protection for the purpose of promoting recycling efforts in the State related to plastics. A retailer may provide recyclable paper products at the point of sale and must provide reusable bags for purchase by a customer. This bill authorizes the Department of Environmental Protection to enforce these laws and impose penalties for violations. This bill also directs that, by January 1, 2016, the Department of Environmental Protection must conduct a public information campaign relating to plastics and their impact on the environment and must implement an outreach campaign aimed at providing reusable bags to residents of the State, especially to elderly and low-income households.

Patterns of Support

Pattern of Cosponsorship by Region:

Pattern of Cosponsorship by Gender:

Pattern of Cosponsorship by Party:

Pattern of Cosponsorship by Campaign Finance Classification:

Note: Maine Clean Elections Act (MCEA) Qualified candidates only accept a small dollar value of initial contributions early in their campaigns, pledge not to accept further campaign contributions from private sources, and receive public funding for their campaigns. MCEA Non-Qualified candidates choose not to obtain public funding and instead are free to accept campaign contributions from individuals, party committees, political action committees and business sources.


This information about LD 396 was last updated on 2016-05-12.
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