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An Oklahoma Lawmaker Is Trying to Make Plastic Bag Bans and Taxes Illegal Across the State

By Sophie Hirsh

A slew of countries, states, and cities around the world have lowered their environmental footprint by banning or taxing plastic bags and other single-use plastic items — but one state seems to be headed in the opposite direction. As reported by Tulsa World, a bill currently making its way through Oklahoma's legal system would prohibit any Oklahoma cities from banning or taxing single-use plastic, including plastic bags, containers, and more. That's right — it's a proposed ban on bans.

Sen. James Leewright, R-Bristow, is responsible for the bill, known as Senate Bill 1001. As Tulsa World noted, the bill would ban Oklahoma cities from banning or taxing any sort of bags, containers, bottles, or packages made from plastic, as well as cardboard, paper, aluminum, and glass. 

OK, so why on earth would someone want to ban cities from reducing access to single-use plastics? As Tulsa World reported, Leewright said that the bill is "needed for uniformity of commerce across the state." Breea Clark, a current City Council member and the mayor-elect of Norman, Oklahoma, has a theory as to what Leewright means by that, as she told the Norman Transcript.