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Bill to ban local regulation of plastic bags advances

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LANSING, MI (AP)--   Efforts to rid Michigan communities of plastic shopping bags would be banned under legislation close to final approval in the Republican-led Legislature. 

The House Commerce and Trade Committee approved the bill on a party-line vote Tuesday. The measure, which won Senate passage in May, next moves to the full House.

The bill would prohibit local governments from regulating, prohibiting or imposing a fee on the use or sale of "auxiliary containers" — which are defined as reusable or single-use bags, cups, bottles or other packaging from stores and restaurants.

More than 150 municipalities across the country have banned the environmentally unfriendly plastic bags or charged a fee.

None are in Michigan, though at least two counties — Washtenaw and Muskegon — have considered whether to limit the bags.

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