Outer Banks Voice is reporting and I can confirm that a full plastic bag ban for the Outer Banks was snuck into the budget bill and could become law in a matter of days, maybe even by tomorrow, Wednesday.

ALL you retailers here on the Outer Banks, THIS BAN APPLIES TO YOU.  NO EXCEPTIONS, unless of course you are on Roanoke Island.   Roanoke is still excluded because it is not bounded by the Atlantic Ocean.  Click here to read the text of the original bill.  How handy that Marc Basnight’s community is still spared.  It must have been an oversight.  I’m sure he didn’t mean to exclude himself from his own laws.

There has been no change the geographic area covered from the original bill.  The ban covers Corolla in Currituck, Ocracoke in Hyde and all the ocean facing communities of Dare County.

The 5000 square foot, five store applicability rule is goneAll retailers will be subject to the ban.  A retailer is defined in the bill as “person who offers goods for sale in this State to consumers and who provides a single-use plastic bag to the consumer to carry or transport the goods for free or for a nominal charge”.

To read the new bill, click here and scroll to the bottom of page 117.

In addition, if someone brings in a reusable bag, you must, by law, provide them with a CASH REFUND equal to or greater than the cost of the paper bag you would have given them.  Won’t that be fun to program into your cash register?

Apparently Basnight hasn’t heard about the recent study which found all sorts of bacteria including e-coli in used reusable bags.  Click here to read the study (don’t worry, it’s short). This bill creates a health hazard to all residents of the Outer Banks.

There is still time, maybe a few hours, to let Spear and Basnight know what you think of this ban.  Burn up their phone lines.  Flood their email boxes.  Basnight’s # is 919-733-6854.  Spear’s # is 919-715-3029.

Click here to email Basnight

Click here to email Spear

And if they don’t listen to you now, make sure they hear you in November.