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Did you know that 127 out of 192 countries reviewed (there are 195 countries, globally) have created legislation to curb the sale of single use plastic bags? 

However, the opposite is happening in states such as Florida where legislation has been implemented to ban single-use plastic bag bans.

In 2008, Florida became the first state to preempt local plastic bag bans and fees, and just a few years later they preempted most local regulation of polystyrene. 

This legislation stops the spread of grassroots plastic bag fees/bans by communities concerned about the consequences of plastic pollution. These preemption measures pushed by bag manufacturers and the plastic industry, with legislative model language often provided by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Although such efforts are certainly not good for the environment in landlocked states, they're particularly distressing in states adjacent to open waterways, such as Florida and Michigan. Very few of the 100 billion single-use plastic bags used in the United States each year are recycled. The US EPA estimates less than 5% of plastic bags are recycled.

That leaves the burden of plastic pollution on municipalities. Cities must deal with the blight of plastic pollution, clogged sewers, litter removal, landscape and farming equipment jammed by plastic bags/film, death to wildlife, and pollution prevention education.

The intent of preemption laws is to halt the momentum of local bans before they grow into a statewide movement. Preemptive legislation is far-reaching and punitive bills that overturn local elections, ban local regulation of business (blanket preemption), punish cities by cutting state funds, and threaten local officials with steep fines and criminal charges.

By signing this petition you are showing that you are taking a stand for the planet and protecting your local waterways.