Missouri legislator wants retailers to decide on plastic bag issue

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JEFFERSON CITY - A Missouri legislator may take plastic bag ban proposals across the state off the table. The committee gave initial approval of a bill Tuesday that would give retailers a choice to provide both paper and plastic bags.

Rep. Dan Shaul, R-Imperial sponsored the bill.

Shaul said he wants consumers to make their own choice.

"The purpose of the bill is to ensure the retailers and consumers have the choice when choosing between paper and plastic (bags), how they take their groceries home," Shaul said. "I don't think the government should limit their choice."

Shaul said the issue with plastic bags is a littering problem. He said there are steps shoppers can take to help with the environmental issue.

"Well I think there are options out there where you can recycle plastic bags, you can recycle paper bags," Shaul said. "The recycle issue is one thing, I think the reuse issue is even more important. Plastic bags at a grocery store are sometimes used two or three times before its discarded."

The bill has not made it to the house floor, but Shaul said he expects it to be there soon. The bill is proposed to take affect in August.