(02/08/2008)
It's not likely to pass, with major industry opposition, but several West Virginia lawmakers are trying to ban plastic shopping bags statewide.

A House bill would require retail establishments to phase out the use of plastic bags by 2011.

Plastic bags, bleach jugs and soda bottles litter every West Virginia highway.

The proposed law would require businesses to provide compostable bags such as paper, or offer reusable bags for purchase.

Retailers would also have to put recycling labels on bags and set up recycling bins for customer use.

Delegate Ralph Rodighiero (Democrat-Logan)is the bill's lead sponsor.

Rodighiero says plastic bags have become a public eyesore, cluttering riverbanks and roadways.

There is debate in some circles about whether plastic bags are actually the better environmental choice, although their decomposition likely requires 50 years.

Concerns include the amount of trees cut down and the pollution created during paper bag production.


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