In November, California became the first US state to ban plastic bags. Michigan responded by promptly passing a law that prohibits cities or counties from banning or taxing plastic bags. A handful of other states have similar legislation including Florida.
Reaction to the law has been mixed. Local businesses are in favor of the ban, claiming that it eliminates patchwork legislation that cuts into their bottom line. However many scientists and environmentalists see this as a huge step backwards. It takes away the ability for local governments to make important decisions about their local pollution. Even the ban in California started in cities and counties before it went statewide. By refusing to recognize the threat, and preventing local adaptation this type of legislation takes power away from individuals who are concerned about their local environment.