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Colorado District 5 State Senator Kerry Donovan has gone on record at the start of the second session of the 72nd Colorado General Assembly with a bill to repeal the ban on local government’s authority to regulate local use of plastics. On Jan. 6 she pre-filed her first bill of the session, known as “Repeal Ban on Local Gov Regulation of Plastics.”

Sen. Kerry Donovan speaks before the signing of SB19-107, the broadband infrastructure bill she  spent five years moving toward passage that was signed into law in Salida, in May of 2019.

“Our state has a shared value of environmental stewardship,” says Donovan. “Repealing the ban on local government regulations of plastics would be a great step forward so that individual communities can create policy around plastics and waste that local leaders see as being in their communities best interests.”

Currently, Colorado local governments have no authority, to regulate plastics use in their own municipalities or counties. That lack of control has come under fire from several consumer environmental action groups throughout the state, and from locally groups such as Chaffee Green, which have sought to respond directly to local concerns for the use of plastics as environment hazards. They point out that not only are disposable plastics clogging landfills, and left as refuse in national forests and recreation areas, they represent a non-renewable use of resources.

While environmental groups support such legislation, the grocery lobby  has historically been opposed to such local authority. Some national chains in particular tend to oppose such moves, as it adds an element of uncertainty to their service cost structure, meaning that plastic bags, and items delivered via certain types of plastics (milk bottles) are facing growing disposal challenges.

Donovan is in her second term as a Colorado State Senator, having been elected to the State Senate in 2015 and reelected in 2018. Since her election, her platforms have included protection of the environment, improving rural healthcare access and addressing the many aspects of rural economic development, including broadband access.