N.H. Senate Blocks Bills To Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags, Straws

May 15, 2019

Credit TABER ANDREW BALN VIA FLICKR CC

The state Senate Wednesday rejected two bills aimed at restricting single-use plastics in New Hampshire.

The Senate killed one proposal to require food service businesses to not to give out plastic straws except on request.

The bill had passed the House, and dozens of people supported it at a Senate hearing last month.

But Democratic Senator Kevin Cavanaugh says that testimony showed state residents are already skipping the straw. What's more, he said the bill would be unenforceable.

"At this time, I believe that the citizens and businesses of New Hampshire are already turning the tide against plastics,” Cavanaugh said. “Thus this legislation seems unnecessary."

The Senate also rejected a plan to restrict plastic bag use. They replaced the entire text of that bill with a new proposal, a version of which had previously passed the Senate but stalled in the House.

The new proposal requires towns to start assessing their annual progress toward the state's long-term goal of a 40 percent reduction in solid waste sent to landfills or incinerators.