Paper Bag Ban Deadline Extension Bill Gets Hearing

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A public hearing took place yesterday to discuss bill 245-36

PNC’s Althea Engman has more…

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Governor Lou Leon Guerrero signed Public Law 35-130 in December 2020, which phases out single-use carry-out bags at retail stores and restaurants. This has been known as the “Bring Your Own Bag” campaign.

P.L. 35-130 has a bridge provision that allows certain businesses to continue using paper bags until July 1, 2022.

Senator Sabina Perez has introduced bill 245-36 which extends the deadline till January 1st, 2023 unless a business is an eating and drinking establishment.

This would temporarily allow for disposable carryout bags which do not include bags made of paper so that places can get rid of their stock of plastic bags.

According to Senator Sabina Perez,” the university of Guam has said that the importance of the paperback ban is that the production of paper bags emits more air pollution than that of manufacturing plastic bags and consumes four times as much energy to produce” in addition paper bags do not degrade as fast as plastic bags and weight more which results in a lot more deposited in the landfill.

There are some exemptions which include, retailers using plastic to package bulk items, as well as using plastic bags to pack up your veggies in grocery stores, packaging for small hardware items, wrappings for flowers, potted plants, non packaged food items or bakery goods, as well as plastic to cover certain clothing garments in stores or dry cleaners and more.

The military bases are exempted from this law because they report under the department of defense.

During the public hearing, community members wanted to clarify certain words and definitions to answer some inconsistencies and to get the military to comply with local laws such as this.

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Althea Engman or as she is referred to as Thea joined the PNC team in August of 2021 as their youngest reporter and after a few months she was given the opportunity to be their weather girl. She currently attends the University of Guam while working at Sorenson. Her hobbies include dancing, creating content for social media, as well modeling on the side, she also is a big dog lover. Before working for PNC, she didn’t think about pursuing a career in journalism or a related field but it has helped her figure out a better career path. She covers a wide variety of news beats with a focus on legislation and lifestyle.