Kansas business groups mobilize to stop local plastics bans

Lobbyists for the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and groups representing businesses say they worry about a patchwork of local rules that raise costs and complicate business.

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February 24, 2020 - 10:10 AM

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas business groups have mobilized to snuff out a budding movement among a few cities to ban single-use plastic bags and straws, frustrating environmentalists who can’t get the Republican-controlled Legislature to tackle climate issues.

The GOP-led House commerce committee on Friday approved a bill that would prevent cities and counties from enacting policies for the next five years to either ban single-use plastic products or impose fees on them. The measure goes next to the full House for debate, possibly as early as next week.

Only a handful of Kansas communities, including Wichita, the state’s largest city, and Lawrence, home to the liberal University of Kansas campus, have started considering bans on plastic products. But lobbyists for the influential Kansas Chamber of Commerce and groups representing grocers, restaurants and convenience stores said they worry that businesses could face a patchwork of local rules that raise costs and create headaches for chains.

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