Wisconsin retailers could soon be required to make their plastic bags more environmentally friendly.
Proposed legislation at the Capitol would ban stores from using non-biodegradable plastic bags. Instead, those who continue to offer plastic bags would have to offer those typically made from corn or vegetable oil.
State Representative Mark Pocan (D-Madison) says petroleum-based plastic bags are clogging our landfills and environment. They typically take over a thousand years to break down and less than five percent are recycled each year.
Retailers have argued that such a mandate would be too expensive for them to follow. But Pocan, a co-sponsor of the measure, says the bags would only cost a few pennies more. He expects prices would drop as demand increases.
Also, with the cost of oil increasing, Pocan thinks it's only a matter of time anyway before alternatives are needed. The Madison Democrat says this just allows Wisconsin retailers to get an alternative in place now.