PHOENIX (Legal Newsline) — Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced Oct. 24 that the plastic and carryout bag regulations enacted by the city of Bisbee violate state law.
According to Brnovich, state law bans municipalities from regulating how private businesses sell or use disposable carryout bags.
“My job as attorney general is to enforce state law,” Brnovich said. “Regardless of policy arguments for why the bag ban exists, the city of Bisbee does not have the authority to ignore state law and reach its policy goal by illegally imposing regulatory mandates on private citizens and businesses.”
In 2016 Arizona’s state legislature determined the regulation of plastic bags was a statewide interest and passed HB2131. This bill banned cities, towns and counties from restricting a retailer’s ability to offer consumers plastic bags at checkout. Bisbee allegedly ignored this bill when developing a regulation banning plastic carryout bags and forcing retail establishments to charge consumers for paper bags at checkout.
State Sen. Warren Petersen asked Brnovich’s office to look into Bisbee's ordinance. Bisbee has 30 days to resolve the violation; otherwise, the state’s treasurer will withhold shared monies from the city.