Controversial container preemption bill

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A bill passed the Local Government Committee this week that would prevent cities and counties from regulating the type of take-out containers that are allowed in their communities. Municipalities would be prohibited from regulating, banning, or taxing containers. Imposing a fee or charge for their use, disposal, or sale is also prohibited in the bill.

The broad definition of “auxiliary containers” includes any product used to transport merchandise, food, or beverages purchased from a retailer. These containers include bags, cups, bottles, and other packaging, whether reusable or single-use, made of cloth, paper, plastic, foamed plastic, cardboard, corrugated material, aluminum, glass, postconsumer recycled materials or substrates, including coated, laminated, or multilayer substrates.

This bill would add the plastic bag preemption bill that was incorporated into the Omnibus Jobs and Economic Growth Bill last session. In particular, it would roll back ordinances passed by Minneapolis and St. Louis Park to prevent the use of materials such as Styrofoam or BPA plastics from food service take-out containers in their communities. The bill was opposed by the League of Minnesota Cities and Association of Minnesota Townships and is yet another example of the Republican majority opposing local control. (SF 3135)