Senate Hears Testimony on Auxiliary Container Bill

This week, State Sen. Michael Rulli (R-Salem) provided sponsor testimony on Senate Bill 222 — a companion to House Bill 242. The legislation would “authorize a person to use an auxiliary container for any purpose and prohibit a municipal corporation, charter counties, or limited homerule townships from imposing a tax or fee on auxiliary containers.” At the same time, it would clarify that the existing anti-littering law applies to auxiliary containers.

The legislation defines an auxiliary container as any of the following: paper or plastic bag, can, cup, food service item, container, keg, bottle, or other packaging item designed for consuming, transporting, or protecting merchandise, food, or beverages.

Both SB 222 and HB 242 come after Cuyahoga County banned most large retailers from distributing single-use plastic bags. Bexley near Columbus and Orange Village near Cleveland have passed their own plastic-bag bans, while cities like Cincinnati have explored taxing them to discourage their use. The OMA supports both bills. When local jurisdictions enact restrictions or outright bans on certain products or product content — or impose mandates to label certain products, or place a tax on certain products — it makes it extremely costly and difficult for Ohio manufacturers to comply. 11/7/2019