Bag ban repeal one more vote away from going to governor

By on June 27, 2017

The state Senate gave its approval Tuesday on an environmental regulatory reform bill that includes a full rollback of the prohibition on most retailers on the Outer Banks using thin plastic shopping bags.

It also cuts the size of and makes other changes to the state Marine Fisheries Commission.

House Bill 56 was approved by a 33-15 party line vote in the Senate, with 14 Democrats and one Republican casting no votes.


It would rollback a ban implemented in 2009 that initially blocked larger retailers on the barrier islands from Corolla to Ocracoke from using the bags, then expanded the prohibition to all businesses the next year.

It requires retailers to offer recyclable paper bags and to give a rebate or other incentive for each re-usable bag a customer provides.

Also included in the bill is reducing the size of the state Marine Fisheries Commission from nine to seven seats by eliminating the two at-large positions.


It calls for three commercial-related seats, three representing recreational fishing interest and one for a scientist, all appointed by the governor.

Included in the proposed scenario is requiring a super majority of five votes to approve rule-making and the regulation of fisheries under a fishery management plan.


The measure would block any fishery rule changes by the commission or temporary rules issued by the director of the Division of Marine Fisheries “that either were not originally developed in accordance with (state law) or result in severe curtailment of the usefulness or value of equipment.”

The bill has been amended several times since passing the House unanimously on April 27, and now heads back to the House for the final approval, which legislative insiders say is likely.

It had not yet been calendared by the House for a concurrence vote as of late Tuesday. Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore plan to close out the current session by Saturday.


  • Really?

    One step closer to removing a dumb law that had no affect on the environment especially when it only applied to some but not all stores.

    Wednesday, Jun 28 @ 12:23 am
  • chaser

    Hopefully bev the bag lady’s yard wont have any plastic bags on it.

    Wednesday, Jun 28 @ 8:51 am
  • Scales of Balance

    @Really: Yes, it applied to some of the larger chains I’ve seen you rail against on this site.

    And “no affect” (sic) is an opinion, it is not something anyone has data to prove as fact.

    Wednesday, Jun 28 @ 9:05 am
  • Harold

    What a shame…

    Wednesday, Jun 28 @ 9:24 am
  • Browny Douglas

    And one step further toward restoring the integrity of the Marine Fisheries Commission. Which will aid restoring of the integrity of the Governors office, the office of the Secretary of DEQ, the office of Director of DMF, the DMF itself and furthermore protect the integrity of the General Assembly itself.

    Much thanks are in order to the offices of Sen Cook, Rep Boswell and other members of the GA for their commitment and efforts to right this wrong perpetrated upon NC by the National and NC Coastal CONservation Association.

    Wednesday, Jun 28 @ 9:34 am
  • dave

    Well, stupid is as stupid does…

    Wednesday, Jun 28 @ 9:59 am
  • liz

    it had no EFFECT? Surely it did…it eliminated tens of thousands of plastic bags going into the landfill…or worse. Just because there were exceptions to the law did not make it a bad law…it just needed to be strengthened! Sort of like throwing the lone sea star into the ocean when thousands are stranded on the beach…saving one is better than saving none at all. To the previous commenter…if you are so determined to go to Walmart and hoard those plastic bags thinking that they are just fine for the OBX then please get them in Moyock and bring them with you. Most of us have no need for plastic bags…they slide all over the car seats, hold very little groceries, and get caught up in recycling equipment when people mistakenly throw their recycling items away in them. Contact the governor and ask him to veto this bill that dare County did not request!!! Big Corporate greed requested this law change…and you see you cowtows to them don’t you???

    Wednesday, Jun 28 @ 11:23 am
  • Thinking about the future

    Why would anyone think plastic bags were good?

    Wednesday, Jun 28 @ 6:03 pm
  • Ruthless

    The sea star analogy is a poor one and especially bad in this context. Star fish are damaging little critters. Tree hugger that I am, I don’t save washed up star fish. How I wish our governor’s vetoes could stand up against what’s going on in our Legislature! We can only hope the House doesn’t get it back to the Senate before adjournment.

    Wednesday, Jun 28 @ 7:51 pm
  • Geo Gnome

    How is it a “dumb law” when we cam all see the bags blowing along the roadside? There is no support to repeal the ban among the citizens and this is partisan grandstanding. It is a purposeful attempt to slap it down due to who passed the ban. It is petty and does not represent the people.

    Thursday, Jun 29 @ 1:12 pm
  • Stephen

    In response to “chaser,” perhaps she should have these bags in her yard. It is incomprehensible how a representative of the Outer Banks could co-sponsor such a dreadful bill. Whom does she represent? Certainly not the citizens of Dare County.

    Friday, Jun 30 @ 12:28 pm
  • Mattie Lawson

    Using this forum to hide behind a fake name while calling people names who are working hard to do the right thing seems childish to me. Just because it has become commonplace in the media doesn’t mean name calling is the right thing to do. I expect more from adults, don’t you? Thanks for the opportunity to express my opinion. I hope I was respectful.

    Monday, Jul 3 @ 11:08 pm
  • BJG

    I agree with the ban and would hate to see it repealed. Every little bit helps, and with the increase in visitors to our small strip of land, litter becomes more and more visible. Don’t sign it, Governor – Let the Ban Stand! (I do think it is a good idea to have recreational fisheries and science rep’d on the MFC, so is that lost of the bill fails?)

    Tuesday, Jul 4 @ 8:20 am
  • Browny Douglas

    BJG, there is and always has been recreational representation and a scientist on the MFC. What is needed is equal representation of both rec (3) and commercial (3) with one scientist. A super majority should me needed to carry a vote. At present there are 9 MFC seats and the CCA who purports to represent the rec interest has $bought$ six of those seats. The CCA as I said purports it’s representation of the rec fishery but that is a farce. The CCA wants NC’s 2 1/2 million acres of inland waters for its playground. IT’S playground. So few in number trying to control what belongs to so many. They are truly the epitomy of the nowdays trite term, $pecial intere$t$.
    The CCA (taproot) has flowered into the NC Sound Economy. It thru HB 867 wants a 20 seat MFC. That consisting of 1 rec 1 comm 1 scientist AND 17 at larges chosen by the board itself. IOW the hell with science. They want to transform the eastern NC economy but put the commercial industry out of business to do it. Screw the consumers they say. “Americans are just going to have to get used to eating imports” I and others were told at a stakeholder meeting in Silver Springs Maryland years ago by a CCA mouthpiece. That is damn near what has evolved. Already 90% of seafood consumed in this country is imported. The general public knows not what they eat that is raised in know not what.

    Browny Douglas

    Thursday, Jul 6 @ 9:58 pm
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