You might expect some good, old-fashioned common sense to come from the Midwest. According to an Associated Press (AP) article that appeared on Feb. 24, a Missouri lawmaker, who also leads an association of in-state grocery stores opposed to restrictions on the use of plastic bags, is bucking a national trend toward banning the use of plastic bags to help the environment.
Republican state Rep. Dan Shaul of Imperial has sponsored legislation that would leave it up to grocery stores and consumers to choose what bags they use, according to an AP article that appeared in the News Tribune. The bill comes as a result of an attempt by the city of Columbia, home to the University of Missouri, to ban grocery stores from offering plastic bags and requiring them to place a 10-cent fee on paper bags.
Some have accused Rep. Shaul of a conflict of interest, given his position with the Missouri Grocers Association. In the AP article, he said that he doesn't believe it is, given that it's the association's duty to its members to track legislation that impacts its industry.