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Portsmouth City Council Indefinitely Postpones Vote on Plastic Bag Ban

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Keng Susumpow via Flickr CC
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The Portsmouth City Council has voted to postpone debate on a proposed ban on single-use plastic bags in the city. The decision means the ban won’t be voted on anytime soon.

The 6 – 3 vote on Monday night came after concerns were raised about whether the city has the legal authority to enact a ban on plastic bags.

Many, including the city’s own legal department, argue that New Hampshire municipalities do not have the authority and that passing a ban would open the city to litigation. The state attorney general and the Department of Environmental Services both declined to give a legal opinion on the matter.

Supporters of the ban say they will now likely have to wait for the legislature to pass a bill that specifically gives towns the authority. A bill that would have done just that was voted down in the House last month.

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