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Legislature OKs bill to ban cities from banning plastic bags

The Legislature has approved a bill preventing cities and towns from banning plastic grocery bags or disposable containers.

Major cities such as Chicago have adopted measures to limit the use of plastic bags in recent years. Conservations say the bags litter the oceans and increase greenhouse gas emissions.

Senate Bill 1241 by Republican Rep. Warren Petersen of Gilbert would ban counties, cities and towns from banning or charging fees for returning containers such as plastic bags or Styrofoam boxes. It also blocks cities and towns from requiring business owners from measuring or reporting energy usage.

Supporters say the bill protects businesses. Opponents say the decision should be left with cities and towns.

The measure passed the Senate on a 19-11 vote Thursday. 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