Georgia House votes down bill to bar local bans on plastic bags

Georgia’s House on Friday narrowly rejected legislation that would prohibit cities and towns from restricting plastic bags and other “auxiliary containers.”

Senate Bill 139 failed on a 85-67 vote that divided House Republicans.

Proponents said the legislation was a response to concerns that plastic bag bans would be too costly and confusing for local retailers to enforce.

The measure emerged after leaders in Athens and Tybee Island debated local bans aimed at restricting the plastic bags, which they view as litter on the state’s tourism-friendly shoreline and a danger to aquatic wildlife who confuse it for jellyfish. Critics have dubbed the legislation the “plastic bags everywhere” bill.

The Senate passed SB 139 last month.