While most of the planet has declared war on plastic drinking straws and plastic shopping bags as an environmental menace, the State of South Dakota appears to be in no hurry to banish these items.

This week (January 28) at the 95th State Legislative Session in Pierre, the South Dakota Senate Commerce and Energy Committee, by a 4-2 vote, approved Senate Bill 54 that would prohibit any ban on plastic straws, beverage containers, packaging or bags in the state.

The bill, sponsored by Republican Senator John Wiik, now moves to the full Senate for approval.

Supporters of the bill argue that the excluding of these items could create financial hardship for small South Dakota businesses who rely on these more inexpensive items at their establishments.

The committee also heard testimony from some in the disabled community who rely on plastic straws to help feed themselves.

Opponents of the bill say the items contribute to excess in litter and will continue to pile up at local landfills.

So far, only three states (California, Hawaii, and New York) have banned plastic shopping bags. Cities like Boston, Chicago, Seattle, and Washington D.C. also have enacted bans.

California has also banned restaurants from giving out plastic straws. Major cities like Seattle and Portland, Oregon have also followed suit.


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