Arizona's new governor Doug Ducey has been busy during his first few months in office. On April 13, Gov. Ducey signed Senate Bill 1241 prohibiting Arizona cities from banning plastic bags. The small tourist town in Southern Arizona, Bisbee, already bans plastic bags, and a plastic bag ban has been on Flagstaff's City Council agenda for several months. I guess this new law settles the question for that city.
According to several news reports, the bill's intent was to stop Tempe, home to Arizona State University, from banning plastic grocery bags. The bill also bans cities and towns from charging fees (return deposits) for returning "auxiliary containers," such as reusable bags, boxes, beverage cans, bottles, cups and containers made out of cloth, plastic, extruded polystyrene, glass, aluminum, cardboard and other materials used to transport materials and food.
The main argument was, of course, that plastic is the primary polluter of the ocean. Last time I checked, the nearest ocean is about 500 miles due west of Arizona. Of course, there's always the possibility that if (or when) California falls into the ocean when the next Big One hits, Arizona will have oceanfront property, and then we might have a problem with plastic.