Plastic Bills Being Debated in Montana Legislature

HELENA, Mont. (NMB) – If two bills in the Montana Legislature aimed at reducing plastic waste become law, diners would need to request a plastic straw at a restaurant and shoppers would have to pay 4-cents for a plastic bag at retail stores.

Tim Pierce with the UM Legislative News Service reports that Program Director for Montana Conservation Voters Whitney Tawney was one of seven supporters testifying for Senate Bills 120 and 121 in committee Friday. She says plastic is harmful, often overused and pollutes Montana’s waterways.

“If we continue to allow plastic pollution into our streams, rivers, and lakes, we will threaten what makes Montana great.”

Opponents say new regulations will be too hard on small businesses. Helena Chamber of Commerce representative Ronda Wiggers, one of the four people who opposed the bill, says businesses are already working to reduce plastic themselves.

“These are business decisions. This is not something we need to legislate from the state down.”

The Senate Business, Labor and Economic Affairs Committee didn’t take immediate action of the bills.

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